Sean Strickland brawl at UFC 296 with Dricus du Plessis

In an unexpected turn of events at UFC 296, middleweight champion Sean Strickland and challenger Dricus Du Plessis couldn’t wait for their scheduled bout at UFC 297, engaging in a heated brawl cage-side.

Strickland, known for his fiery temperament, was seen lunging over seats to confront Du Plessis, sparking a chaotic scene. The impromptu fight, a month ahead of their official matchup, has left fans and fellow fighters in a state of shock.

The incident unfolded in the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, where the two fighters were seated near each other.

Strickland can be seen asking people in the crowd to move out of the way before launching himself at Du Plessis and throwing punches. The two are then swallowed by a sea of bodies trying to separate them.

Notable UFC figures, including champions Islam Makhachev, Alexander Volkanovski, and top bantamweight contender Marlon “Chito” Vera, were spotted trying to get a better view of the commotion.

The UFC 296 commentary team mentioned the scrap, and Strickland was reportedly ejected from the arena by security.

The roots of this conflict trace back to the UFC 2024 Press Conference, where Du Plessis provocatively brought up Strickland’s troubled past, stating, “You think your dad beat the s*** out of you? Your dad doesn’t have s*** on me,” du Plessis said. “Every childhood memory you have is going to come back when I’m in there with you. Such personal jibes set the stage for what transpired at UFC 296.

UFC lightweight Jared Gordon, who witnessed the event, commented that Strickland “jumped over the seats right in front of us” to engage with Du Plessis.

The repercussions of this altercation, especially with their upcoming fight in Toronto, remain to be seen.

As the UFC community reels from this unexpected showdown, questions arise about the professional conduct of fighters outside the ring. This incident at UFC 296 not only adds fuel to the fire for their upcoming bout but also raises concerns about the intensity of personal rivalries in the sport.

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