Sean Strickland and Aspen Ladd’s coach Jim West came face to face following accusations by Strickland.
UFC middleweight Sean Strickland is never one to bite his tongue. In fact, Strickland is in the news more these days for what he is doing or saying outside of the Octagon than what he is doing in it. He is constantly making enemies on social media and in person. On Thursday he had a run-in with a man he formerly accused of “grooming” former UFC fighter Aspen Ladd. The interaction did not go how he had expected it to go outside of the UFC Performance Institute.
Back at the beginning of the year, Strickland began to call out MMA Gold head coach Jim West for his unusual relationship with Ladd. He is both her coach and her partner and took some heat back in Oct. of last year for his extreme cornering in one of Ladd’s fights. People, including Strickland, were turned off by the nature of the relationship and Strickland spoke out about it. He called West a predator and accused him of grooming Ladd from the time she was a teenager.
Sean Strickland and Jim West met in person outside the UFC PI
Fast forward months later and now West has confronted Strickland at the UFC PI. Strickland took to Instagram to detail the interaction for his fans.
“I’m leaving the PI and this guy walks up to me. He says, hello, Sean, my name is Jim West, and I’m thinking oh man, me and this dude are about to scrap in front of the PI. And I start getting excited. But then he’s really f–king cool to me. And I’m like, Oh, well, now this is awkward because I thought we were gonna f–king fight. Anyways, so he comes up to me. He’s like, well, Sean, you know, I heard what you said. And I was a former detective and I did not know Aspen Ladd until she was 18. And I’m like, Yeah, I don’t know, I’m not gonna get into this, but like, it’s f–king questionable. And I’m still gonna f–king talk sh-t because it needs to happen.”
Strickland has been critical of the age difference and control that both West has on Ladd and Pat Barry has on Rose Namajunas. In the past, he accused Ladd of suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.
“But now since I was reminded of the situation, Jim West, she was training at your gym at 14 or 15 years old, right? We’re gonna say this is true. At some point, she turned 18. And this girl you had no idea existed. She turned 18 and you’re like, you know what? Now … I’m gonna make her my girlfriend. That sounds like grooming to me,” he continued.
West responded to this video in the comments.
“It was nice to meet you @seanstrickland_mma @strickland_mma_ but your facts are incorrect. Aspen trained at underground MMA in Jackson California when she was 14. Lol at least have your facts straight. She didn’t train at mmagold which was Folsom mma until she was 18. From 14 to 18 she trained at underground MMA. Again. You can talk sh-t. That’s your prerogative. There is your facts,” he wrote.
Ladd is no longer with the UFC. She was released after failing to make weight o several occasions. She recently signed with PFL and is set to make her debut on November 25 against Julia Budd. Ladd is 27 years old and West is 45.