Sean Strickland a 'PR nightmare' for the UFC after title win? MMA legend explains why that may not be the case

UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland [*Image courtesy: Getty Images]
UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland [*Image courtesy: Getty Images]

Earlier this month, Sean Strickland defeated Nigerian-born Kiwi MMA legend Israel Adesanya via unanimous decision to become the new UFC middleweight champion. 'Tarzan's crowning as the middleweight champion has led many to speculate that the UFC organization could have a PR (Public Relations) nightmare.

That's primarily because Strickland has a reputation for making controversial socio-political statements, some of which are regarded by many as bigoted and incendiary.

UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock has now put forth his take regarding the same. In an interview with InsideFighting, 'The World's Most Dangerous Man' addressed the ongoing talks of Sean Strickland possibly being a negative influence on the UFC brand.

Ken Shamrock suggested that the fight game has a wide variety of characters and one has got to acknowledge it. The 59-year-old insinuated that even when it comes to controversial characters, it's all a part of marketing. He cited the example of UFC megastar Conor McGregor and how the latter often crossed the line in certain situations but generated massive viewership regardless.

The Valor bare-knuckle boxing promoter explained that, as a promoter, he believes in letting fighters be who they are, provided that they aren't hurting anyone in the process or leading to the closure of the promotion. With regard to the interviewer indicating that there's been speculation that the polarizing Strickland could be a PR nightmare for the UFC, Shamrock stated:

"I don't know if there's such a thing as a PR nightmare. I don't know if there's even a such thing, other than, unless they can get you shut down as a company or a business or take it off the air. That might be a nightmare. But as far as antics and the way somebody talks or says or does things -- and you have no control over some of that stuff. They just do it."

He added:

"Obviously, you've got to talk to him. You've got to tell him you can't do that. You've got to fine them. Do whatever it is you do. But in my opinion, when it comes to an organization, as long as it's creating eyeballs, people are listening and watching, you're good."

Watch Shamrock discuss the topic at 4:18 in the video below:


What's next for UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland?

Sean Strickland has garnered widespread praise for his dominant victory over former UFC middleweight kingpin Israel Adesanya. That said, given Adesanya's list of accolades and multiple title defenses at middleweight, many have been calling for 'Izzy' to be handed an immediate title rematch against 'Tarzan.'

UFC CEO Dana White initially expressed interest in having Israel Adesanya face Sean Strickland in an immediate rematch but later alluded that the promotion could look at other options for 'Tarzan.'

Meanwhile, top contenders such as Dricus du Plessis and Jared Cannonier have been lobbying for a title shot against Strickland. Presently, the UFC hasn't officially announced whom Strickland would defend his title against in his next octagon outing.


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