What happened to Sean Strickland's father? The UFC star's last conversation with dad took very dark turn

UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland
UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland told his father to take drastic measures in their last conversation [Image Courtesy: @stricklandmma Instagram]

Sean Strickland has openly discussed a challenging upbringing marred by the impact of his abusive father. He has shed light on the troubling aspects of his childhood on various occasions and offered insight into the trauma he endured during those formative years.

When Strickland was scheduled to defend his title against Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297 in Toronto last January, the animosity between the two fighters intensified when the South African ridiculed the childhood abuse he experienced.

Strickland, angered by these comments, engaged in a heated brawl, confronting Du Plessis as the two exchanged blows ringside during UFC 296 in December 2023.

But what exactly was the issue with Strickland's father and childhood that a mere comment on it triggered him to an extent where he even jeopardized his payday? Let's explore.

What happened to Sean Strickland's father?

Sean Strickland is one of the most polarizing figures in the MMA realm, and many of his provocative remarks are tied to a tumultuous upbringing marked by the challenges of growing up in an abusive household. Strickland grappled with the presence of an alcoholic father, making peace an elusive concept, and had to endure both mental and physical mistreatment.

During an appearance on Brendan Schaub's Food Truck Diaries in 2022, Strickland recalled a moment when he asked his father to end his own life:

"I want to tell you about my dad. My dad was lying in bed one day with a .45. I f**king walked up and he was talking about suicide. I said 'You should f**king do it.' I was like 17 at the time. 'Your wife left you, you're unemployed, you're a f**king drug addict. You should do it.' He didn't f**king do it and died at 50 something of cancer, f**king miserable."

Check out Sean Strickland's comments below (27:57):


According to Strickland, his father, while battling cancer, acknowledged that he may not have been the best parent but pointed out that he refrained from subjecting his son to molestation.

Sean Strickland's emotional recollection of childhood abuse

During a recent episode of Theo Von's This Past Weekend podcast, Sean Strickland burst into tears as he recollected a particularly dreadful memory of his father threatening to physically hurt him and his mother. He said:

"He [Strickland's father] was on drugs, lots of drugs... I remember I used to sit there and just hug my mom's leg in the kitchen. We had this little nook, and she would go there, and I would just sit there all night long, by the feet of my mom, and my dad [would go] like, 'I'm going to f**king kill you'... I'll never forget, he would talk about burning her face with acid and, mind you, I'm in elementary school."

Check out Sean Strickland's comments below:

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