For context, according to Strickland and many in the MMA world, Namajunas and Ladd were in a relationship with their coaches, Pat Barry and Jim West, respectively, since they were minors. Strickland has stated that this is “predatory behavior.”
Controversy has surrounded Namajunas and Ladd over this issue. The current UFC Middleweight champion has talked about it on multiple occasions and even confronted their coaches.
Lately, an unofficial page on Instagram posted some fake quotes of Namajunas. The quotes read, “Yeah, I’ve been a fighter for a long time. I still feel healthy enough for a comeback. I remember that even Pat told me when I just started training, ‘Age is just a number’.”
The troll page tried to use the whole controversy to create a meme. The ‘age is just a number’ part refers to Pat allegedly dating Namajunas when she was a minor.
Strickland fell for it and commented, “We need to rescue Rose [Namajunas] and Aspan Lad [Aspen Ladd].”
It has been a few months since the outspoken Middleweight champion commented on this situation. However, earlier, he had confronted the coaches and got them on the defensive.
Sean Strickland has confronted the coaches of Rose Namajunas and Aspen Ladd
Strickland was accompanying Chris Curtis to UFC 268 and en route, they were along with Namajunas and Pat. Curtis talked about the incident on the Man Dance podcast, “We’re on the bus and Rose and Pat are there. And Sean just immediately starts going in and it just doesn’t stop.”
Chris Curtis shared a story of Sean Strickland confronting Pat Barry and Rose Namajunas on a bus pic.twitter.com/WAKSPRFKaF
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) June 9, 2023
He explained how Sean heckled the couple, “We are on our way to the f**king thing and Sean is like, ‘So how old was she?”
The confrontation did not lead to any physical altercations. Strickland was hoping for a physical altercation against West, however, when they met. But, that was only verbal as well.
Strickland detailed his conversation with West in an Instagram video a year ago. He explained how West told him that he did not know Ladd before she was 18. Strickland was disgusted as Ladd had joined the gym earlier and this would mean that West waited till she was 18. According to him, “That sounds like grooming.”
Here’s the thing guys 99 percent of what I say is usually wrong.. This is not that time.. @rosenamajunas @TheAspenLadd like my post if you need help. I’ll treat Pat Berry and Jim West like they treat minor.. Without consent, although it won’t be behind closed doors lmao! https://t.co/caZfbGiWLn
— Sean Strickland (@SStricklandMMA) May 12, 2022
Women are very easy targets for male coaches, automatically assume weird father role which turns into a hero worship complex. The fact you started to train with him at what 12? 100 percent grooming sexual predator. Tell me my facts are wrong and I’ll apologize now. @TheAspenLadd
— Sean Strickland (@SStricklandMMA) April 21, 2022
Strickland has even taken to X to opinionate on it multiple times. Although the UFC Middleweight champion opines controversially about most things, Namajunas and Ladd’s relationship with their coaches has an oddity to it that is being explored by many.