Sean Strickland attacks Du Plessis in crowd as ‘psychopath’ erupts at UFC 296

Sean Strickland shockingly attacked upcoming opponent Dricus Du Plessis cage-side at UFC 296.

The middleweight pair are due to face each other in the octagon at UFC 297 on January 20, and they offered a preview of what fans can expect as they brawled amongst the crowd at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

UFC middleweight champion Strickland, 32, was the aggressor. Du Plessis, sat just two rows behind, appeared to repeatedly goad Strickland, who eventually turned round and asked members of the crowd – including a young boy – to make way.

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He then unleashed a flurry of punches on the South African, 29, with fans and security desperately trying to pull the duo apart. Once they were finally separated, Strickland smiled and raised his hands, seemingly in celebration.

Fans were left shocked by the scenes, while a commentator on ESPN branded Strickland a “psychopath”. Others questioned the logic of seating the pair close to each other. UFC president Dana White admitted responsibility for the seating plan, as he addressed the dust-up later in the night.

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“I do every seating assignment every week, yeah,” he told the press conference. “How f****** stupid is that, seriously? Well, I don’t know what humans you can seat Strickland next to, but definitely not Du Plessis. I don’t even know how I missed that.

“This is the business we’re in. I jumped in there, told Strickland to relax and go to the back. He decided to leave so he left the arena. Du Plessis is good, I was literally just talking to him.”

White added: “No, we don’t like this stuff. We do everything in our power to make sure that it doesn’t happen.”

Strickland took to X (formerly Twitter) to address the altercation. He posted: “I go hard on everyone I know this, izzy mouth feeding his dog, Dricus kissing his coach and grabbing his cup. Omally talking about sharing his wife in a podcast. You're a man, on a world stage doing this in public. And what do you pick? “You got abused as a kid ha”.”

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