“Literally have desires to k*ll people,” Sean O’Malley worries if over-sparring has caused Sean Strickland mental troubles

Sean O'Malley speculates that extensive sparring sessions may have led to Sean Strickland's mental instability.


“Literally have desires to k*ll people,” Sean O’Malley worries if over-sparring has caused Sean Strickland mental troubles

Sean O'Malley believes that hard sparring sessions are the reason for Sean Strickland's mental instability (via Imago)

Sean O’Malley is the current bantamweight champion of the world. He recently raised worrying questions about Sean Strickland’s mental well-being. The outspoken bantamweight believed that too much sparring could be impacting Strickland’s stability. 

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O’Malley reacted after Strickland openly discussed having violent urges and desires. He had recently admitted to struggling with mentally unstable thoughts. Strickland cited that he had urges to kill people.

Duh. Anyone that says they literally have desires to kill people, probably aren’t doing mentally well. You either love, or you hate- and if you wanna k*ll people for no reason. And he’s honest about it, which it f*ckin’ pretty crazy. Going in there, sparring, just getting hit in the head. Not that he gets hit in the head that much, but if you’re getting hit ‘not that much,’ but you spar everyday, that adds up.
Sean O’Malley via The TimboSugarShow

Sean O’Malley believes repetitive head trauma poses risks even for elite fighters, which could manifest in disturbing psychological ways. Even minor head strikes, when sustained regularly, could impact brain health.

Many fighters have transitioned away from hard sparring for that reason. Concerns over long-term effects have made lighter technical work more prevalent. However, Strickland remains a self-professed “old school” practitioner of hard sparring sessions. He has expressed pride in his grueling training regimen and mentality.

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Sean O’Malley doesn’t approve of Sean Strickland’s brutal beating on Sneako

Suga recently criticized Strickland for his actions against Sneako. O’Malley took issue with how the former middleweight champion treated the social media influencer during sparring. He was referring to footage of Strickland aggressively attacking Sneako. Eventually, Sneako’s corner threw in the towel. However, Strickland continued his onslaught despite Sneako hiding behind his guard.

Sean O'Malley doesn't aapprove of Sean Strickland's beatdown of Sneako
Sean O’Malley doesn’t approve of Sean Strickland’s beatdown of Sneako (via Sports Illustrated/BJ Penn)

O’Malley seemed repulsed by Strickland’s apparent intention to seriously damage Sneako. Even after it became a non-competitive situation, Strickland kept attacking relentlessly. O’Malley believed that Strickland was trying to give brain damage to the streamer.

I thought it was f**ked up. His corner threw in the towel.  If someone came in here and wanted me to f**king peck around with them because I'm a professional, I'm a champ and they want to get a little taste of what it's like, I'm not going to - Did you see how hard he was trying to hurt him?
Sean O’Malley via The TimboSugarShow

O’Malley drew a line while understanding competitive sparring’s physical demands. He expressed discomfort with Strickland’s callous overreaction to an untrained, unresisting opponent. Strickland has drawn criticism before for seeming mentally unhinged at times. O’Malley’s comments suggested lingering concerns about Strickland’s temperament and judgment.

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