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Former UFC champion Sean Strickland vents mental health struggles: ‘I feel like I’m a danger to people’

Former UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland says he has everything he wants in life, but still struggles with mental health issues and thoughts of harming other people.

Despite openly admitting he has unresolved childhood trauma, Strickland (28-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC) doesn’t believe therapy will help get him to a better mental state.

“The problem with therapy, I think they would just convince me to like f*cking start killing everybody,” Strickland said at a recent pre-fight news conference.

Well aware of his mental trauma and the effects it may have on his daily life, Strickland still balks at receiving help. As a result, he often goes down dark paths, especially with a microphone in his hand during UFC fight week media obligations.

Before UFC 297, Strickland went on an unhinged anti-LGBTQ rant after a reporter asked him about a previous statement when he said that having a gay son would mean he failed as a father. All while wearing a t-shirt that read, “A woman in every kitchen, a gun in every hand.” In no other major sport would that fly, but the UFC offers a unique space for fighters to say what they want without repercussion, for better or worse.

Fighting is a valuable outlet that helps Strickland exorcise his demons. He spars a lot in the gym, more than most of his peers. Typically, he’s getting his energy out against other pro fighters, but there’s also that time he recently went too hard on streaming influencer Sneako.

“Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose,” he wrote about battling demons in the caption of a video posted to Instagram on Monday. In that video, Strickland revealed how dark his thoughts can sometimes get. Despite reaching the peak of his division as a UFC champion and all of the money that comes along with headlining multiple events throughout his career, Strickland admits the mental fight is an ongoing daily struggle.

“All week I’ve been f*cked up, dude,” Strickland started. “I’ve been on the Twitter saying crazy sh*t, just f*cking spiraling. I woke up and I told my girl, I was like, ‘Babe, I feel like I’m a danger to people. Like I don’t feel like I should be out in the world.’ And I think that – I have everything. I’m rich, I’m famous, I have everything I ever f*cking wanted and I am still mentally unwell. I get in these mindsets to where like I want to burn everything down in the world. Like, I want to have nothing, so I can just f*cking lose it and just take out everything on people.

“I think that you guys, in a weird way, are like my family. Like I’ve shared some sh*t with you guys, and you guys have shared some sh*t with me. I feel more connected with my fans than I think most people feel just because we’ve gone through a lot together. I have everything I want, and I still struggle with mental health. My memory is so short that, like, when I go out into this week, I think to myself, like once I get past it, I think to myself, like, ‘Oh, man. That was a really rough time in my life.’ But then when I really think about it, this happens multiple times a month, every month.”

Strickland continued:

“Again, I don’t know why I’m telling you guys this. I’ve just been kind of going through some sh*t. I’m fine. I’ll be fine. I’m going to go train right now and try to hurt all of my friends, and all of the demons will go away. I just want you guys to know that I have everything I could ever want in the world, and I still struggle. So, whatever you guys are going through man, hope y’all feel better. Go to the gym, train. F*cking wish you all the best.”

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Sean Strickland at UFC 297 media day.

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Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-in faceoff

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Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-in faceoff

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Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-in faceoff

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Sean Strickland UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins

Sean Strickland UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Sean Strickland UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins

Sean Strickland UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins faceoff

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Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins faceoff

Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins faceoff

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Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins faceoff

Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins faceoff

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Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins faceoff

Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins faceoff

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Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins faceoff

Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins faceoff

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Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins faceoff

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Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins faceoff

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Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins faceoff

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Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-in faceoff

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Sean Strickland UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins

Sean Strickland UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins

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Sean Strickland UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins

Sean Strickland UFC 297 ceremonial weigh-ins

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves)…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Sean Strickland (red glove) fights Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) celebrates defeating Sean Strickland (red…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) celebrates defeating Sean Strickland (red glove) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) celebrates defeating Sean Strickland (red…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) celebrates defeating Sean Strickland (red glove) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) celebrates defeating Sean Strickland (red…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) celebrates defeating Sean Strickland (red glove) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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UFC 297 Dricus Du Plessis vs Sean Strickland video

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MMA: UFC 297 - Strickland vs Du Plessis

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) celebrates defeating Sean Strickland (red…

Jan 20, 2024; Toronto, Canada, USA; Dricus Du Plessis (blue gloves) celebrates defeating Sean Strickland (red glove) during UFC 297 at ScotiaBank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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Dricus Du Plessis def. Sean Strickland, UFC 297 Scorecard

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie