Sean Strickland talked about his encounter with Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 296.
They are set to face each other at UFC 297 on January 20, 2024. Both fighters were present at Leon Edwards' welterweight title defense against Colby Covington. Leading up to their upcoming bout, Du Plessis made personal comments about Strickland's childhood, suggesting he had experienced abuse from his father.
“You think your dad beat the s**t out of you? Your dad doesn’t have s**t on me … every childhood memory you have is going to come back when I’m in there with you,” Du Plessis
The UFC middleweight champion was upset by those comments, and he expressed his frustration during the UFC 296 event. Strickland went through the crowd, confronted Du Plessis, and physically engaged with him, involving punches and even biting. Security had to intervene, escorting Strickland out of the arena. Now, he has shared the reasons behind losing his temper.
“You don’t about a kid being abused. These things are all off limits. Once he crossed that …. I tried to f*****g ignore it. I was boiling whenever Dricus (Du Plessis) goes on there and he jokes about that s**t. Dude, you have no idea. I’ll f*****g kill you,” Strickland stated
Strickland opened up about particular events from his childhood that deeply affected him. He mentioned the fear he felt, having to stay in his mother's room out of concern that his father might harm her. Strickland also recounted a time when he had to call the police after witnessing a heated dispute between his father and mother.
“I’d sleep by the door because I thought my dad was going to kill my mom. My dad gets on top of my mom and I remember he said ‘I’m going to f*****g kill you tonight.’ Maybe it’s just rough sex, we don’t know at this moment. I’m under the bed and he starts strangling her. I get out and the only thing I can see is a guitar, I just f*****g crack him in the head and call the cops,” Strickland added
Strickland has made significant progress since those challenging times. In a notable upset in 2023, he defeated Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision, earning the UFC championship. This victory marked his third consecutive win. Prior to this winning streak, Strickland faced setbacks with back-to-back losses against Alex Pereira and Jared Cannonier. As he prepares for the upcoming bout against Du Plessis, Strickland reflects on the positive turn his life has taken.
“I joke about all this s**t, as we’re laughing, you’ve got to joke about it. If you don’t, how do you process that kind of abuse? Life’s good, I make a lot of money now. I’m happy,” Strickland said