Anyone who’s rolled with Orlando Sanchez knows that he’s a force to be reckoned with, even against the most seasoned of athletes. In a video that has since gone viral, Orlando had a run-in with UFC fighter Sean Strickland during a sparring session where Strickland took exception to Orlando elbow lock from standing. Strickland threw a back fist and a front kick afterward to which Orlando didn’t appreciate.
In a recent interview with FloGrappling, Orlando dispels some of the rumors that arose from the entire situation. Contrary to popular belief, he was not part of Strickland’s UFC camp. He had never known who Sean was and certainly did not know that he was in the UFC. Strickland was allegedly talking a lot of trash about jiu-jitsu and challenging Orlando, saying he could dominate him. Orlando decided to grapple with him and the video takes over from there.
Jiu-Jitsu Times reached out to several sources after this video, including Orlando. For all intents and purposes, Strickland was acting out of line and had not shown any courtesy to training partners which he was not only defeating, but verbally belittling. Two anonymous independent sources state that Strickland allegedly drives twice a week between California and Las Vegas due to a shortage of training partners willing to train with him, as he has been ousted from several academies in both locales due to his disrespectful behavior. In essence, he has gained a reputation amongst many in the grappling community to have consistent behavior as he has demonstrated in the video.
While I have never met Strickland nor can I confirm anything beyond what I have seen in the video, I have in fact rolled with Orlando on multiple occasions. He is certainly a bigger guy and a nearly unstoppable grappling force, but at no point in rolling with him did I ever feel like I was in acute danger of being injured. The move he performed against Strickland is one he caught on me, a move which is not unlike a Mir lock commonly used in self-defense. I did not sustain any semblance of an injury, I was very quick to tap and certainly did not feel any malice in his action. I initiated a half-hearted underhook identical to Strickland’s only to learn a very valuable lesson. This is a move that Orlando performs consistently and not out of the realm of his standard grappling procedure.
Orlando has received considerable undue criticism due to this incident, he has even received threats to murder his family. This abhorrent behavior is uncalled for and one that does not take the facts of the situation into account.
Watch the FloGrappling interview and sound off in the comments, whether you agree or disagree.