Strickland is coming off of arguably the biggest win of his UFC career against Jack Hermansson earlier this year. He’s won six straight fights and appears to be on the verge of a potential middleweight title shot.
Blachowicz is coming off his title loss to Glover Teixeira at UFC 267. He’s expected to face Aleksandar Rakic later this year.
The debate between the two fighters started when Strickland questioned Ukraine fighting back against Russia and encouraged the country to surrender.
“Ukraine should just bend the knee and become Russian,” Strickland said. “I understand it sucks and yes you could win….. but do you really want to be the new Afghanistan for the next 30 years??? Not saying it’s right but this hard pill to swallow will be better in the end.”
Strickland’s thoughts on the crisis created quite the stir on social media. This prompted a response from Blachowicz, a Polish UFC star, and former light heavyweight champion.
“Would you? It is easy to give away someone else’s independence,” Blachowicz said. “The history of the Eastern European region is full of struggle and suffering. Ukraine – as a country and as a people – has endured much. Their resistance is understandable and admirable. Freedom!”
Strickland replied to Blachowicz’s tweet by doubling down on his original post regarding the conflict.
“35 days for Germany to take control of Poland,” Strickland replied. “The only reason why there is a poland is ww2. Poland isn’t Ukraine. Their children’s children will be living in the rubble of Ukraine struggle under a Russian flag in 5 years. That is the cost. Russian sanctions are Ukraine sanctions.
“That is the last thing I’ll say on this subject. Mark my words, what I say will come true, tell people to struggle, tell people to fight. There children’s children’s will live in poverty and destruction under a Russian flag. This is the reality.. Hard truths I know.”
Strickland and Blachowicz aren’t the only notable UFC fighters to make their voices heard on the Ukraine-Russia crisis. UFC featherweight Bryce Mitchell made headlines in the leadup to UFC 272 when he gave his thoughts on the conflict and stated that he wouldn’t fight overseas if the U.S. government mandated it.
Additionally, Ukrainian fighter Maryna Moroz has shared how she has been personally impacted by the war, even losing some friends.
Strickland is never afraid to speak his mind on various topics, even when he’s questioned by one of the biggest names in the sport. The Russia-Ukraine crisis continues to be a hot-button issue among professional athletes.
Do you agree with Jan Blachowicz or Sean Strickland?