Sean Strickland explains why he accepted unranked Abusupiyan Magomedov amid criticism

The ranked UFC middleweight contender, Sean Strickland, has been confirmed to headline UFC Vegas 76 where he will take on Abusupiyan Magomedov. However, this announcement has drawn some controversy.

Sean Strickland had a rough time after suffering back-to-back losses against Alex Pereira and Jared Cannonier. But in his latest outing, ‘Tarzan’ successfully returned to the win column after defeating Nassourdine Imavov. They headlined UFC Vegas 67 in January, with Strickland coming out as the winner via unanimous decision.

In a recent special announcement, UFC President Dana White revealed the upcoming UFC events and their cards. One of them is UFC Vegas 76, which will take place on July 1 in Las Vegas at the UFC Apex. White also announced that the headliner for the event will be Sean Strickland, who will face the unranked middleweight contender, Abusupiyan Magomedov.

This announcement has baffled many MMA fans. Despite the inconsistent ranking system, fans believe that Strickland should aim for a ranked opponent after his win against Imavov. However, he has been booked to face UFC newcomer Abusupiyan Magomedov instead.

The 32-year-old Russian suffered a loss against Louis Taylor in the PFL in 2018. He bounced back after defeating two other opponents in other promotions. He finally joined the UFC in January and faced Dustin Stoltzfus, who was 1-3 in his last four matches. Magomedov ultimately won via a first-round technical knockout.

Many fans believe that it is unfair for an athlete who is 1-0 in the UFC to quickly get a ranked opponent. However, Dana White explained that almost every middleweight contender avoided him. Magomedov is a prominent athlete, having scored 14 knockouts and 6 submissions out of his 25 wins.

“He [Strickland] is taking on a guy that literally nobody wants… Abus Magomedov is a middleweight with 20 finishes in 25 pro wins,” White said.

This is similar to the case of Alex Pereira. Before facing Strickland in July of last year, Pereira was 2-0 in the UFC. It looks like Strickland is the type of guy who is just willing to take on anyone that the UFC offers to him.

Now Strickland has explained the rationale for this booking:

“Let me explain what’s this is to you  guys…… They asked 2 guys to fight me and they both  said  no…… So | either wait 6 months for a ranked guy to say yes which they probably won’t or | fight… | fight for money this is my profession………… Dricus picked all easy fights and will get a title shot after beating old retired Brunson, and i applaud him for it but izzy is going to make him look like a glorified can, but he played the game well…. So what would you guys do in my position”?