‘An Opportunity Of A Lifetime,’ Sean Strickland’s Coach Reacts To Short-Notice Title Shot Against Israel Adesanya

Eric Nicksick talks Strickland's preparation for UFC 293 next month.

Sean Strickland
Sean Strickland - Image credit @Strickland_mma_ Instagram

Stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready.

That seems to be the case for top UFC Middleweight contender Sean Strickland, who is always training at his home gym at Xtreme Couture. This will serve Strickland well as he will take on the champ Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 a month from now.

Strickland, the 19-fight UFC veteran, might not have imagined his fight camp being so quick for his first title shot but ‘Tarzan’ is no stranger to stepping up on short-notice.

‘There’s No Short Notice For Us’

Coach Eric Nicksick isn’t too worried about Strickland having five weeks to prepare for Adesanya.

“This is typical Sean, he stays in the gym no matter what,” coach Eric Nicksick told ESPN. “I think that opportunity allows us to take some of those short notice fights or fights that come up on four days notice, doing that, because Sean is in the gym all the time. So, we had a feeling that this might be the opportunity for him.

“The motivation alone just by saying like, look man, you might be fighting for the title, but there’s no short notice for us. Like, I don’t want to hear like ‘oh, we got five and a half weeks’— we’ve had time to prepare and that was the whole game plan. That was the whole idea is keep your ass in the gym and we’re not gonna have to worry about it.”


Strickland Realizes ‘This Might Be My Only Chance At A Shot At The Title’

Dricus Du Plessis was supposed to be next for the middleweight title after dispatching of former champ Robert Whittaker at UFC 290. However, the heated title fight between him and Adesanya has been shelved after Du Plessis was unable to make the fast turnaround.

As a result, the door would be opened for the #6 ranked Strickland to potentially put an end to Adesanya’s second title reign. Nicksick details the controversial contender’s headspace before the biggest fight of his career.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Nicksick continued. “One of the realest moments I’ve ever had with Sean was just recently we were in the gym, just me and him, and he said, ‘man, this might be my only opportunity at this, this might be my only chance at a shot at the title’. And you could see like, he had that emotion to him where he was excited for this challenge.

“This is something that I think anybody that steps in the UFC, if you get in this sport or get in this game, it’s because you wanna be a world champion. And if that’s not the case, I don’t think that your heart’s in the right place and Sean’s [heart] is. Sean’s been busting his butt and doing everything he can to put his best foot forward against arguably one of the best to ever do it in Israel Adesanya.

“We have a tall task ahead, but we’re up for the challenge,” said Nicksick.

Will Sean Strickland shock the world next month in Sydney, Australia?

Published on August 10, 2023 at 2:44 pm
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