Why did UFC not include Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis brawl in UFC 297 countdown video?

UFC 297, the first PPV of 2024, will be headlined by Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis for the middleweight title. The duo already had verbal and physical altercations even before the fight and has thus set the stage for a blockbuster fight at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada.

Strickland won the title from Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 in a massive upset that sent Adesanya into a self-imposed hiatus. Dricus Du Plessis was originally presumed to face Adesanya but had to withdraw due to an injury and Strickland stepped in on short notice as a massive underdog.

Why wasn’t Sean Strickland vs. Dricus Du Plessis brawl in UFC 297 countdown?

The UFC recently released the Countdown show for UFC 297 and one incident that did not appear on it was the physical altercation between Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis in the audience of UFC 296. The promotion has a habit of using such controversial incidents to promote fights as evident in the cases of Conor McGregor, and Jorge Masvidal to name a few.

The brawl between Strickland and Du Plessis happened as a result of their previous trash-talking engagement where Du Plessis referenced Strickland’s childhood trauma. Many felt the incident was a significant contributor to the build-up to the fight but for some unknown reason, the UFC did not include it in the Countdown.

The UFC 297 Countdown show highlighted Strickland’s massive upset victory over Adesanya and even compared it to other major upsets like Holly Holm against Ronda Rousey, Chris Weidman against Anderson Silva, Matt Serra against Georges St-Pierre, and Juliana Pena against Amanda Nunes. Moreover, the victory celebrations of team Sean Strickland after UFC 293 were also an integral part of the show.

As for Dricus Du Plessis, the Countdown show showcased his impressive finishing prowess and accomplishments in various fight promotions like the EFC in Africa where he was a double champion, and in KSW in Poland where he was the welterweight champion.

The Countdown show deliberately avoided the use of controversy and the focus was entirely on the fighter’s accomplishment. Many presume it to be as a result of the promotion’s new marketing strategy.

Khamzat Chimaev claims Dricus Du Plessis to lose vs Sean Strickland at UFC 297

Khamzat Chimaev, who fought Kamaru Usman and won at UFC 294 for the number one contender fight at middleweight, made his prediction for the title fight between Dricus Du Plessis and Sean Strickland. Chimaev predicted Du Plessis to lose against Strickland who happens to be his former training partner at Extreme Couture.

“His not gonna win his next fight 💩💩💩🤣🤣🤣🤣”, Chimaev commented on an Instagram post that showed Dricus Du Plessis disregarding his title shot claims. Du Plessis had earlier disregarded Chimaev’s claim for a title shot in a recent interview.

“That makes absolutely no sense. The UFC promised him a title fight? Where in the world does that happen?”, said Du Plessis who felt that Chimaev’s claims were baseless.

“He says he’s fighting Strickland. No, you’re not. If there’s a champion, if you get a title shot, I’m the champion. You’re NOT going to get a title shot.”, Du Plessis further added providing a reply to Chimaev’s prediction of Strickland winning at UFC 297. Chimaev is undefeated in his professional MMA career whereas Du Plessis is undefeated in the UFC with only his fight with Brad Tavares going the full distance.

With the drama surrounding the top middleweights, the division is shaping up to be very exciting. Former champion Israel Adesanya will be present cageside at UFC 297 and he also has a history with Strickland, Du Plessis, and Chimaev. UFC 297 was rumored to be in jeopardy after Strickland injured himself at a New Year celebration. Nonetheless, the storyline behind all these fighters has thus added more intrigue to the first PPV of 2024.

Do you think Sean Strickland will remain as the champion after UFC 297? Leave your prediction below!


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