Coach Reflects on Lessons Learned for Sean Strickland Heading Into UFC 302

UFC
May 29, 2024
Sean Strickland's head coach, Eric Nicksick, is confident in his student’s ability to recognize and address the issues that cost him the middleweight strap against Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297 in January.
https://youtu.be/ofMhABKuIFI

As Nicksick prepares his charge to compete against Paulo Costa in the UFC 302 co-main event, the decorated coach recently shared his analysis of their previous assignment and how Strickland has worked on not repeating the same mistakes.

“I think there’s a lot of things we could have done better. That's honest to God truth man,” Nicsick told Submission Radio. “For example, we got away from our kicking, our teeps. I think you and I actually talked about this, the teeps are like three or four things that we needed to negate the pressure, to slow Dricus down with the bodywork but also giving another scoring criteria to the judges to see rather than just the jab essentially. There are some things we could have done better on the ground, for example, every time we got up, a lot of times Sean hit a switch and was in a position to inflict some top-side damage as well, which instead he just got up and got away from. So there were moments there where we could have obtained some scoring criteria and give the judges more and make it look a little better in our favor.

“I said something to Sean a few weeks ago when he was sparring, and I actually saw it resonate with him. He was winning all of his rounds, he won rounds one, two and three; he won them, but I said something going into round five, I was like hey bro, you’re sparring like you fought Dricus, you fought Dricus not to lose, I want you to fight like you fought Izzy and that was with nothing to lose. He had nothing to lose against Izzy; he fought Izzy differently. I said he lost to Dricus because he just didn’t have that edge that I normally felt from him. So rounds four and five, he ended up beating the crap out of the last two guys and that’s what I want out of him,” Nicksick added.

Nicksick also revealed what he expects from his fighter going into his five-round co-main event meeting with Costa this weekend.

“You know as a five-round [bout,] I think this definitely favors us. At least that's the mentality right now is to try and drag this dude into some deep waters. So, I'm hoping we can get him out of there by round four round five. But this dude's tough. He's gritty, he's durable but it's going to be up to us to be just chipping away at him. So, that's the goal. I'm not trying to make a prediction but I'm just telling you what we are expecting from our athlete and that's it.”

Reference: https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Coach-Reflects-on-Lessons-Learned-for-Sean-Strickland-Heading-Into-UFC-302-193836

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