For the past few years, Sean Strickland has consistently remained a controversial figure, having an unfiltered and unapologetic approach, which has sparked discussions about him being racist.
In his career, Strickland has been vocal about the complexities of his early life, including a troubled childhood shaped by a neo-Nazi past and instances of childhood trauma.
Read more to learn about Sean Strickland, his successful MMA career, early life traumas, and controversial stand on racism.
Sean Strickland Sean Strickland, a current UFC Middleweight Champion, is an American mixed martial artist competing in the UFC.
Strickland initiated his professional MMA career in 2008, debuting for the King of the Cage promotion.
Strickland’s 2014 UFC debut saw a first-round win against Bubba McDaniel.
After a two-year hiatus due to a motorcycle accident, Strickland returned in 2020, defeating Jack Marshman and earning the Performance of the Night against Brendan Allen.
Later, on September 10, 2023, Strickland achieved a major upset by defeating Israel Adesanya for the UFC Middleweight Championship, earning his third Performance of the Night bonus.
Is Sean Strickland Racist?
Israel Adesanya and Sean Strickland exchanged heated words during the UFC 293 press conference, escalating tensions with racial taunts and accusations.
During their verbal clash, Strickland made fun of Adesanya’s links to China, where Adesanya started kickboxing.
Strickland also accused Adesanya of “race-baiting” South African contender Dricus Du Plessis.
In response, Adesanya referred to Strickland as a “neo-Nazi.” Both fighters traded insults and threats, fueling their rivalry.
Additionally, Strickland found himself embroiled in a controversy with Keith Lee, a TikTok food reviewer and influencer who happens to be the brother of UFC welterweight Kevin Lee.
Sean Strickland claims that at a gym, Kevin Lee approached him and others to discuss racism.
Strickland, referring to it as “racial, systematic oppression,” said that Lee initially accused him of being racist.
In response, Strickland said he responded with, “I’ve f—cked more black women than you have, so how am I racist?” and further pressed the issue, telling Lee, “Come on, I know you’ve got a little white woman at home.”
According to Strickland, Lee responded by expressing a dislike for white people.
Strickland also claimed that Chris Curtis, his training partner, was present. However, Chris said that he wished he could remember the conversation.
These constant controversies with Strickland add a layer to the question of whether Sean Strickland holds racist views.
Sean Strickland Early Life: Neo-Nazi Past And Childhood Trauma
Sean was born on February 27, 1991, in Corona, California.
In his early life, Strickland experienced significant childhood trauma due to the difficulties of growing up in an abusive household.
Strickland recounts his upbringing in a home marked by both physical and mental abuse inflicted by his father.
He vividly remembers a crucial moment in which he took drastic action, defending his mother by confronting his father with a guitar.
Law enforcement got involved in this incident; however, his father was released the next day, with his mother paying for the bail.
Strickland’s adolescence saw him briefly adopting troubling ideologies influenced by his grandfather’s neo-Nazi views.
Later, he stated that he abandoned those ideologies after the school expelled him in the ninth grade for perpetrating a hate crime.
Moreover, Strickland said he renounced these beliefs through exposure to diversity as he met people of different races in his MMA training.