MMA: South Africa's du Plessis fights in the crowd with Strickland, his future opponent

Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis battled in front of the crowd at UFC 296, a month before their Jan. 21 fight for the U.S. organization's -84 kilogram belt. Between the two, tension rises at each press conference, during which the South African tries everything to destabilise his future opponent.

South Africa's Dricus Du Plessis reacts after defeating England's Darren Till in a middleweight bout at UFC 282 at T-Mobile Arena on Dec. 10, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Getty Images via AFP - SEAN M. HAFFEY

By: Yohann Le Coz Follow


Read More

With Sean Strickland set to defend his -84kg belt against South Africa's Dricus du Plessis on January 21, they gave the crowd a taste of their upcoming duel. At UFC 296 on Saturday night, Dec. 17, the two men sadly put on a show and fought in the middle of the crowd.

The full incident between Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis at #UFC296 tonight.

Bring on #UFC297 in January!

— UFC (@ufc) December 17, 2023

In the images released by the American organization, Sean Strickland is seen in a white T-shirt, jumping on top of du Plessis, seated a few rows behind him, after kindly asking the children between them to move a little. All this following a few slight gestural provocations from the South African.

Explosive press conference the day before

A brawl following an explosive press conference the day before. The challenger for the belt took the opportunity to provoke the champion about his childhood marked by violence suffered by his father. "Do you think your father used to beat you? You're going to see what it's like to be beaten. Your childhood memories will come flooding back," he said.

In an interview with UFC, Du Plessis reflected on the incident: "I don't care if I hit him. He says what he wants, and I can say what I want. There is one thing that is a sore point, a trigger for him. And now we're not allowed to say anything? Man, if you want to do this job, you have to be able to handle it. [...] I can't believe it was so easy to reach him mentally." The weigh-in face-off before the fight promises to be explosive.

NewsletterGet all the latest international news straight to your inbox

Subscribe now

Keep up to date with all the latest international news by downloading the RFI app


Read on the same topics:

  • MMA