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UFC's Sean Strickland Says He'd Be 'Very Happy' If He Killed Opponent During Fight

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 31, 2021

Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Ahead of his bout against Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night on Saturday, Sean Strickland said an opponent dying in the Octagon wouldn't concern him.

Strickland made the comment during an interview with TMZ Sports (Warning: some language NSFW):

"If I killed somebody in the ring, it'd f--king make me very happy," Strickland said.

Strickland continued:

"Like, if Uriah hits me and maybe I have a brain aneurysm and die, you'll hear me saying, 'I'm OK, that's a good death.'

"We're all going to die sometime. You know, might as well end in a good way. ... We're all going to the same place, man. It's either gonna be then or now. Just enjoy it."

Strickland could have been joking, but his comments may not be received well.

Conor McGregor was criticized earlier this month for saying he would "kill" Dustin Poirier after their fight at UFC 264. McGregor made the threats after suffering a broken tibia that resulted in a technical knockout loss.

Deaths are also not unheard of in combat sports, with CNN reporting a survey first carried out by anti-boxing activist Manuel Velazquez found an average of 13 boxers died every year from 1890 to 2011 because of injuries suffered in the ring.

Originally scheduled to take place at UFC 265, the middleweight bout between Strickland and Hall was moved up to UFC Fight Night, and it will headline the card at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas.

Strickland, 30, enters Saturday's contest with a career professional record of 23-3, including 10 wins by way of knockout.

Since making his UFC debut in 2014, Strickland is an impressive 10-3. He has won each of his past four fights, including a unanimous-decision victory over Krzysztof Jotko in his most recent fight in May.

Hall, who will lock horns with Strickland on his 37th birthday, is on a four-fight winning streak in his own right.

The Jamaica native is 17-9 in his career and has won 13 of those fights by knockout. He has scored high-profile victories in his past two outings, beating Anderson Silva by fourth-round TKO in October and Chris Weidman by first-round TKO at UFC 261 in April.

Hall's win over Weidman came due to injury, as Weidman broke his leg when he went for a kick in the opening seconds.

Both Strickland and Hall are trying to position themselves for a title shot against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who is 21-1 in his career.

Strickland is currently ranked 11th at middleweight, while Hall is eighth.

While the winner of the fight may still have some work to do, they will likely take a big step toward putting themselves in the title conversation.

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