Sean Strickland, a vocal presence in the world of mixed martial arts, is eager to put past conflicts behind him in his upcoming bout against Dricus du Plessis. The two middleweights are scheduled to face off in the main event of UFC 297 in Toronto, Canada. The lead-up to this fight had initially been marked by animosity, with tensions boiling over at last month’s UFC 296 when they engaged in a confrontation in the crowd, prompted by prior comments.
However, recent developments indicate a thaw in their relationship. A display of camaraderie was captured by the ‘UFC Embedded’ cameras, showcasing a warm greeting between the fighters at the fighter hotel.
This newfound understanding was further evident during Thursday’s pre-fight press conference, where Strickland explained why he perceives du Plessis as a more formidable opponent than former champion Israel Adesanya, whom he faced last year.
In a press conference flanked by Dana White and UFC security representatives, Strickland emphasized the differences between du Plessis and Adesanya. “Here’s the thing about Dricus, he ain’t f*cking Izzy — Dricus likes to fight,” Strickland asserted. “He likes to fight, and he’s a hell of a fighter. Do you know what that means? We’re going to be a dick to dick, nipple to nipple in that range f*cking fighting.”
Expressing his desire for an intense showdown, Strickland addressed the audience directly, stating, “I hope after we’re done, win or lose, we’re f*cking bloody, and we put on a show for you f*cking guys. Applaud him and encourage him. Because we want a f*cking war!”
Despite acknowledging that du Plessis’ comments had led him to “lose character,” Strickland extended a handshake to his opponent. “Real talk, you guys. Dricus and I’re going to try to f*cking kill each other for you guys,” he declared. “Dricus, can I get an agreement to the f*cking death? To the f*cking death! Goddamn respect him for that.”
This unusual and somewhat tense alliance will be set aside, at least for the duration of their main event clash on Saturday night.