UFC 293 main event star Sean Strickland fled to Sydney days before the clash with Israel Adesanya – fueling a conspiracy theory that he was being silenced.
- Strickland absent at Welcome to Country
- Rumors say the polarizing star wasn’t invited
- Fighter has a history of controversial comments
Controversial MMA star Sean Strickland failed to show up at Welcome to Country in Barangaroo on Tuesday, fueling a conspiracy theory that the outspoken star is being silenced.
Strickland is preparing to take on UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya this Sunday at a sold-out Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney.
The polarizing American, a former white supremacist and who has made controversial statements about women and race, may not even have received an invite to the event.
There are rumors that the NSW government didn’t want Strickland to embarrass them after spending $16 million on MMA in the state over the next three years.
Adesanya said recently that UFC top brass needed convincing to even make the fight happen due to concerns over what Strickland might say.
Polarizing UFC star Sean Strickland was not present at Tuesday’s Welcome to Country
Adesanya says UFC top brass needed convincing for fight to happen
‘The Last Stylebender’ was present at the traditional ceremony hosted by Gadigal Aboriginal elder Brendan Kerin on Tuesday morning at Barangaroo Reserve in downtown Sydney.
He later took to Twitter to acknowledge Strickland’s absence, writing, “When can I see me buddy.”
Strickland landed in Sydney earlier in the week and gave the city a positive review during a UFC 293 Embedded vlog.
“So I talk a lot of bullshit about Australia, because it’s kind of weird, you’re all descendants of convicts, and yet you have a really beautiful city,” Strickland said.
“How the hell did this happen? »
A little later, he took to Twitter to give fans more details about Harbor City.
“I’m in Sydney and thought I was going to be surrounded by filthy liberals,” he wrote.
“Gay and trans flags everywhere…Literally zero…maybe America is the problem lmao!”
Strickland’s extraordinary tirades and offensive comments are attracting a lot of attention – and there’s a theory he’s being kept out of the spotlight in Sydney as a result.
Strickland had a string of impressive performances in the Octagon ahead of his clash with Israel Adesanya
It’s almost impossible to predict what will come out of Americans’ mouths, although one can guess with some certainty that it will be controversial or offensive.
Some see him as a reprehensible character giving oxygen to hateful worldviews, others as a prankster and sellout dealer who very deliberately takes advantage of his provocation without really believing what he’s saying.
Adesanya called Strickland an “idiot” and explained how lucky he was to fight for the middleweight belt in Sydney.
“He should be thanking me for making the fight possible because without me he wouldn’t have had the fight,” he said.
“I pushed him to win the fight, because he was the next logical guy.”
“I beat all of the top five – some of them twice – so you can’t punish us for being awesome, so yeah, I pushed for him to win the fight.
‘He’s a fool. I can’t say much about it. He’s an idiot, so he just has to behave properly, show up and fight.