UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland and contender Dricus Du Plessis were involved in an ugly crowd brawl at UFC 296.
Footage shows Du Plessis lifting Strickland by the hips whilst “Tarzan” rains down punches and elbows to the top of his head.
The two later collapse to the floor, and extra footage shows them being separated by venue security.
Strickland and Du Plessis are slated to fight one another in the main event of UFC 297 on January 21, 2024. The two middleweights appeared at the UFC seasonal press conference on December 15, where “Stillknocks” weaponized Strickland’s childhood trauma in an attempt to ruffle some feathers:
“Bro you think your Dad beat the s*** out of you? ” Du Plessis exclaimed. “Your dad doesn’t have s*** on me… Every childhood memory you have is gonna come back when I’m in there with you.”
Strickland admitted it hit a nerve at the time, and he followed up with a lengthy post on Twitter the same day:
“I expect nothing less from O’Malley and Dricus… There are a lot of kids out there who have been abused and molested and it’s a damn tragic thing that forever changes you. How you function, how you view the world, how you treat relationships, how you handle addiction and for someone to put you down with that level of trauma on a world stage is an utter disgrace..
“I have a big following of people who suffered trauma, molestation and I will tell you that it’s not funny to me, whatever you’ve gone through or have been through isn’t funny to me…….. I hope you all understand that these are weak men who don’t understand hardship, they don’t understand what it’s like to live with demons… Forever a struggle they will never understand.”
UFC 297’s main event continues to heat up.
Mathew is a UK-based combat sports journalist. He currently works for MMA Knockout, part of the Sports Illustrated FanNation network. The Fight Fanatic is Mathew’s one-man operation. His past bylines include Heavy on UFC, Sportskeeda, and MMA UK.
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