Dana White blames himself for Sean Strickland-Dricus du Plessis brawl at UFC 296: ‘This assh***’ sat them next to each other’
Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis got into an ugly brawl in the crowd during UFC 296 on Saturday but it turns out Dana White isn’t blaming the fighters for their behavior.
Instead, the UFC CEO quickly pointed the finger back at himself when addressing the melee where Strickland was caught on video literally diving over chairs and punching du Plessis several times as security rushed in to separate them. While it was obviously an unfortunate altercation, White says he can’t get angry at Strickland and du Plessis after he personally put them in close proximity to each other.
“So what kind of an assh*** sits Strickland next to du Plessis? This assh***, that’s who,” White said at the UFC 296 post-fight press conference when addressing what happened. “I do every seating assignment every week. Yep, how f****** stupid is that? Seriously. I don’t know what humans you can sit Strickland next to, but definitely not du Plessis. I don’t how I missed that.
“This is the business we’re in. I say it all the time, jumped in there, told Strickland to relax, go in the back. He decided to leave so he left the arena, du Plessis was good. We were literally just talking to him right outside the door there. Gentlemen, we are in the fight business. These are the things that happen.”
As more and more videos of the incident surfaced, Strickland could actually be seen asking someone to move out of the way just before he leapt over the seats to get to du Plessis. It turns out it was UFC welterweight Gilbert Burns and his family, who quietly shifted out of their seats just as Strickland lunged for his next opponent ahead of their scheduled fight at UFC 297 in January.
“I didn’t know that,” White said about Strickland’s gesture. “That’s awesome. Could you step aside so I could assault this gentleman, please? Thank you children. No, not good.”
White added that there were no charges filed against either fighter and nobody got arrested despite Las Vegas police getting involved in breaking up the melee.
“I’m sure the police have got better s*** to do,” White said. “Two guys who are going to fight here in a month, getting into a skirmish here at a fight.”
White also stated that there will be no repercussions for the fighters involved but that goes beyond just his general rule that what happens in the fight business, stays in the fight business.
If anything, White says he’s the one who has to shoulder the blame for this entire ordeal and it’s a mistake he promises not to make again.
“It’s my job to make sure that stuff doesn’t happen,” White said. “If I wasn’t an assh***, those two wouldn’t have been sitting next to each other. It blows my mind that I let that slip. It just blows my mind.”