In a surprising turn of events, Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis find themselves face to face once again.
The tension between the two escalated during an unexpected hotel encounter just days before their highly anticipated five-round middleweight title clash at UFC 297. Their match will be the headline of the pay-per-view event on Saturday night, January 20, 2024. The event will take place at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
This marks the first time the two combatants have shared the same space since their headline-making brawl at UFC 296 last month in Las Vegas.
The reunion stands in stark contrast to Sean Strickland’s recent remarks on his podcast, where he hinted at a more hostile outcome. Strickland went as far as suggesting that if things escalate during the upcoming press conference, he might resort to violence by stabbing.
He said: “I actually sent him a message and I was like, ‘Dude listen, Dricus, we’re going to go try to m*rder each other, but if you bring that s*** up again, I will f****** stab you.’ Press conference, weigh-in — I just told Dricus. He was cool about it, he was cool about it.”
Strickland even admitted that he would have shot Du Plessis during their UFC 296 altercation had he been armed at the time.
Raising eyebrows, there’s speculation about the authenticity of the recent encounter. Some ponder whether the UFC orchestrated the reunion, drawing parallels to a similar incident involving Stephen Thompson and Kevin Holland before UFC Orlando in late 2022.
Also, the UFC’s ‘Embedded’ video team has been closely following both main event combatants throughout the majority of UFC 297 fight week.
The question now lingers: will the tension persist during the UFC 297 press conference, or was the hotel encounter a mere prelude to the impending clash in the Octagon? Dricus Du Plessis remains undeterred, asserting that he will be prepared for any challenge Strickland throws his way.