- Dana White insists he is just happy for Sean Strickland
- The UFC boss revealed how big a star “Tarzan” has become after UFC 293
UFC president Dana White was quizzed by the media during a recent press conference to address a few things about Sean Strickland. The UFC boss made it clear that he’s happy for “Tarzan” and one thing they all can’t deny is a surge of the new middleweight champ’s social media hype.
No hate, just love
Speaking to reporters after Dana White’s Contender Series 62, White shared his thoughts on Strickland jokingly stating that he and his UFC matchmakers may have regretted the idea of slating him against Israel Adesanya, who is undeniably one of the company’s biggest draws.
According to White, there’s nothing to talk about as things happened as it is and he lauds Strickland for pulling off a sensational performance against Izzy.
“It is what it is. We obviously put [Strickland] in that position, and he delivered and won the fight,” White said. “He’s the champ now, so, you know what you’re getting when you get him. This is no surprise, no shock, yeah good for him. You could tell that night, after that first round, he would go back to his corner and maybe listen to his corner for 15 seconds and that was it. He was up and ready to go, he felt he was gonna win that night.”
Sean is now a full pledged social media star
White also acknowledged the fact that numbers show how much people are “fascinated” by Strickland’s championship victory. The UFC boss said he may have implied that Adesanya lost because he wasn’t at his best but that didn’t mean he is discrediting Strickland’s success.
“Let me tell you this. So on Instagram, I have 8.3 million followers. Me wrapping the belt on him [Strickland], did 16 million views. ‘DC’ [Daniel Cormier] was telling me on the flight back he did interviews with him on his YouTube channel and it was the biggest he has ever done or something like that. If you saw, there was a lot of hype around Strickland early. He lost a couple, hype kind of died down, he came back and he won the world title, and people are fascinated again,” White explained.
“I don’t know, I think people love an underdog,” he continued. “He was such a big underdog in that fight, he came out and won… People are like, ‘Oh don’t take away the fact that he that that Strickland won the fight.’ Good for him. I love that sh*t, I love the support he’s getting, it’s great.”
There’s no official announcement yet but White already called for an immediate rematch between Strickland and Adesnya. White believes that “Tarzan” and Izzy’s newfound rivalry has the potential to become an interesting storyline. On the other hand, Izzy’s longtime coach Eugene Bareman stated that a rematch should be a no-brainer and they are looking to make it happen before the year ends.
Watch White’s full press conference below: