Did UFC stage Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis brawl? Robert Whittaker debunks melee at T-Mobile Arena

Robert Whittaker, the former UFC middleweight champion, is awaiting his next opponent in early 2024. It is rumored that Whitaker will be facing off with former title challenger, Paulo Costa, at UFC 298 or UFC 299.

Whittaker, in his recent MMA Arcade podcast with Jonny Roses, shared his thoughts about a recent scuffle that happened at UFC 296. The scuffle involved the middleweight champion Sean Strickland and his upcoming title challenger Dricus Du Plessis.

Did UFC stage Strickland vs Du Plessis brawl?

Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis will be headlining UFC 297 in Vancouver, Canada for the middleweight title. Even though the duo were cordial in the beginning, their recent interaction at the UFC 2024 Seasonal Press Conference caused a massive rift.

Strickland was front row for the final PPV of 2023, UFC 296. At the stands, Strickland was supporting Leon Edwards, who blasted Colby Covington for offensive remarks at him. Dricus Du Plessis was seated in the third row, directly behind Strickland. The two were shown on the big screen where they had a minor verbal interaction.

However, what happened afterward shocked everyone. Strickland asked Gilbert Burns’ son, who was seated between the two, to move. Then, he jumped to attack Du Plessis. Security intervened and escorted Strickland out of the arena. The video of the altercation was shown after the conclusion of the PPV.

In the post-fight press conference, UFC CEO Dana White took the blame for the incident as he was the one who arranged the seating. “I don’t know which humans you can sit Strickland next to, but definitely not Du Plessis. I don’t even know how I missed that,” White said at the post-fight press conference.

Robert Whittaker claims Strickland vs Du Plessis melee just for publicity

Many conspiracies are brewing about the altercation between Strickland and Du Plessis. Some think that it was staged by the promotion whereas others find it entirely Strickland’s fault. Bruns Burns, the wife of Gilbert Burns, who was in the audience tweeted out that it was Du Plessis who was at fault for the incident happening.

Robert Whittaker talked about the matter on his recent episode of the MMA Arcade podcast. “I thought it was staged, mate, honestly because it was weird. The way it happened, like you saw it, obviously,” said Whittaker accusing the UFC of staging the fight for promotion.

“So, you saw the way Strickland was like, ‘Move aside, please,’ which makes sense, but then he jumps in WWE style, the way he was punching, the way he was kind of fake punching, you know?” Robert Whittaker explained his feelings after witnessing the altercation, which he perceived involved fake punching similar to WWE.

Nevertheless, Robert will be eagerly looking forward to the fight with DDP and Strickland, as a win or two could put him in title contention. Whitaker lost his latest bout at UFC 291 to Dricus Du Plessis via second-round TKO, and a rematch could be brewing if Du Plessis becomes the champion at UFC 297.

What do you think of Robert Whittaker’s assessment of the scuffle at UFC 296? Leave your thoughts below!


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