There’s nothing flashy about Sean Strickland, unless you’re counting the punches he relentlessly flashes into the face of his opponent.
Strickland won his fifth fight in a row on Saturday night, overwhelming Uriah Hall with five rounds of aggression and nonstop punch output to win a lopsided unanimous decision in the middleweight main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.
Strickland (24-3) controlled the fight from the start and never allowed Hall — who is flashy — to get going. Strickland walked out of his corner when the fight began and never stopped moving forward. He threw 129 punches in Round 1, landing 38, and that set the tone.
Strickland, a 30-year-old from Corona, California, hurt Hall badly in both the third and fourth rounds, and a finish appeared to be there for the taking. Hall, a Jamaica native fighting out of New York, managed to survive. But that was all. The spinning kicks that fill his career highlight reel were nowhere to be seen.
The judges went heavily for Strickland, by scores of 50-44, 50-45 and 49-46.
“Five rounds was a little fun,” said Strickland. “You know, the last round is always the funnest. You get so tired, you don’t care about getting hit.”
That’s Strickland’s attitude. And despite being on the longest winning streak of his career, he has zero ambition for upward mobility in the 185-pound division.
“I don’t care about it. I just want to fight,” he said. “I want to fight. l want to make money.” Then Strickland pointed at the “UFC” on the mat. “As long as there’s that logo under my feet and I’m fighting, I’m happy. Oh my god, it gives me purpose. If it wasn’t for the UFC, I’d probably be cooking meth and in prison.”
Hall (17-10), who was fighting on his 37th birthday, also entered the night on a four-fight winning streak.