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Joe Rogan Swallows His Pride and Agrees He Was Wrong About Sean Strickland After Alex Pereira’s Terrifying KO of UFC 297 Star

Published 01/19/2024, 6:03 AM EST

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Sean Strickland has been one of the most talked-about fighters ever since he became the middleweight champion. However, some people doubted that he’d ever accomplish that achievement. UFC color commentator-cum-podcast host Joe Rogan was among those people, who recently opened up about his thoughts on Strickland before his UFC 293 triumph.

Sean Strickland has had his fair share of losses in the UFC. With five defeats in Dana White‘s promotion, he wasn’t in the discussion of potential champions. But he proved many people wrong, including Joe Rogan, who gave up on ‘Tarzan’ at one point in time. Let’s see what the 56-year-old had to say.

Joe Rogan did not think Sean Strickland would be the champion

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The 56-year-old UFC commentator had Sean Brady as his guest in a recent episode of the ‘JRE MMA Show’, where they discussed Sean Strickland’s rise to stardom. Joe Rogan mentioned the fight ‘Tarzan’ had against Abus Magomedov, which he won. He believes that people started paying attention to Strickland after that fight.

“After the Abus [Magomedov] fight, someone should have looked at that fight and go, ‘Listen this guy is always there, he’s always there,” said Joe Rogan. However, that wasn’t the case before. Rogan gave up on thinking that Sean Strickland would become a champion in the UFC after his knockout defeat to Alex Pereira at UFC 276. Nevertheless, he was wrong.

Joe Rogan further stated, “He gets flatlined in the first round against Pereira and then you think, ‘This guy’s not going to be champion.’ A year later, he’s the champ.” Furthermore, the 56-year-old praised the reigning middleweight champion for making the decision to train with the person who put him to sleep and become a better fighter.

“[He] went to train with Pereira. That shows you how smart he is… And Pereira will teach you, which is even crazier,” Joe Rogan added. Not only has he turned into a great fighter in the past year or so, but Strickland has also garnered a lot of fans because of his raw attitude. That was evident during the UFC 297 press conference when a fan rushed to greet him.

A fan went out of his way to meet the middleweight champion

During the recent pre-fight press conference for UFC 297, Sean Strickland was met with a surprise when a fan made his way onto the stage to shake his hand. The fan in question dodged the security team in his attempt to meet ‘Tarzan’, but was later taken off stage by the security team. However, Strickland did not fail to acknowledge that gesture.

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The middleweight champion was excited to see the love from the fans and began yelling into the microphone. Similarly, the incident also put a smile on UFC CEO Dana White and the other fighters present at the press conference. It was a bizarre scene, but it showed how much fans adore Sean Strickland.

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Regardless of what Sean Strickland achieved in the past, that won’t matter when he steps inside the Octagon at UFC 297. It will be his first title defense and he’d hope to continue his title reign. Meanwhile, Dricus du Plessis is also hungry to win the title and has mentioned many times that he wants to be the first South African champion. Who will emerge victorious? We’ll find that out on Saturday night.

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Written by:

Himanga Mahanta

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I am a UFC writer at EssentiallySports, and my passion for MMA and a deep understanding of its intricacies have allowed me to churn out more than 1000 articles. I have covered numerous UFC events and fighters, with the aim of bringing my readers closer to the action and the athletes they admire. I have developed a knack for providing analytical coverage of breaking stories from the world of MMA.
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Edited by:

Gokul Pillai