When it comes to the UFC’s pair of title-toting superstars named Sean, featherweight standout Bryce Mitchell is big a fan.
Last month, Mitchell bounced back from his first setback inside the Octagon, scoring a unanimous decision victory over human highlight-reel Dan Ige at a Fight Night event inside The APEX in Las Vegas. Two weeks prior to Mitchell’s return to the win column, Sean Strickland shocked the world by securing a decisive win over Israel Adesanya to capture the UFC middleweight title.
Speaking with James Lynch in a MiddleEasy exclusive interview, ‘Thug Nasty’ revealed that he is a big fan of Strickland’s sense of humor and fighting style that took ‘Tarzan’ from standout to superstar overnight.
“He’s just funny, that’s the first thing. He always gets my attention with the humor, but he’s also uncontrollable,” Mitchell said. “He does what he thinks is the right thing. He just doesn’t seem like somebody who’s easily influenced by money, power, or anything. He just really enjoys what he does and likes being funny with it. I love watching him.”
Though it may have taken some time, Bryce Mitchell is also quite fond of the promotion’s other world champion named Sean. That being current bantamweight king ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley. Asked about his thoughts on O’Malley’s impressive second-round knockout of Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292, Mitchell said:
“I was really impressed. I mean, my goodness. He’s good. That Joker is good, man, and let me tell you, I was rooting for Aljo because me and Aljo are buddies so of course, I was rooting for Aljo. I’m not gonna lie about that, but I tell you what. After watching that, I really like O’Malley. My favorite thing about him is he went and got some animals. He got some chickens and stuff and when I saw that, I really started thinking that I like this O’Malley.”
That is quite the turnaround considering months prior, ‘Thug Nasty’ didn’t think too highly of O’Malley’s work.
“I was critical. I criticized him a little bit, but you know what? He don’t deserve that,” Mitchell added. “He’s cool. He likes animals and he likes fighting. We actually have a lot more in common.”
Bryce Mitchell Comments on the UFC’s Break-Up with USADA
Last week, USADA CEO Travis Tygart revealed that the anti-doping agency would no longer partner with the UFC as of January 1, 2024, citing that the pair’s relationship became “untenable” over the contentious return of Irish megastar Conor McGregor. Offering his take on the situation, Mitchell was less concerned about the testing of his opponents and more focused on the possibility of one of his tests being rigged.
Fortunately, ‘Thug Nasty’ already has a foolproof plan in place should the next agency come accusing him of doping one day.
“There’s nothing I can do about USADA going away, but I hope that they are testing for steroids,” Mitchell said. “That’s all I’ve got to say. I’m not one to use steroids, but I bet some of my opponents would.”
He continued, “I’ve never failed a test. Don’t plan on it. I always worry about one of my tests being rigged. If they ever say that I’m on some type of steroids, I’m telling you, it’s 100% rigged. I’m not on steroids and I can prove it to you because my nuts are big and steroids shrink your nuts. I can show anybody I’m not on any type of steroids. I can prove it and if I got popped for steroids, the follow-up tests… Like if one initial test was bad, I’d do two or three tests.”
We’re not sure if that plan will work, but we’ll just have to wait and see how business is handled on that side of things after the new year.
Watch the full interview below: