Midnight Mania! Slow-motion video captures exact moment of Sean Strickland’s controversial cut — and it wasn’t a headbutt
Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Over the weekend (Sat. Jan. 20, 2024), Dricus Du Plessis dethroned Sean Strickland in the main event of UFC 297, capturing the Middleweight crown via split-decision after a 25-minute battle (watch highlights). The first South African champion didn’t win his belt without controversy, however, as Strickland has some complaints more than bad optics.
The judges’ scorecards are always up for debate, of course, but another big topic of conversation is the cut above Strickland’s eye. According to the former champion, it was opened by a clash of heads late in the fight. Du Plessis denied the accusation, but in five rounds of chaos, who can say what shot exactly caused the cut?
Internet fight fans, that’s who!
Shoutout Redditor /u/UVB076_Enjoyer specifically for isolating the punches that opened up the cut on Sean Strickland’s eye. The quality isn’t the best, but it’s a concise summary of how the cut above Strickland’s eye opened in the fourth round.
Here’s another clip of the same combination landing, as well as Strickland blinking off the damage immediately afterward — prior to any clinching.
Many fans are questioning the headbutt that Sean Strickland is referencing as the reason he lost the fight
Apparently it was an overhand from Dricus that cut open the eye, as opposed to a headbutt
What do you think?
H/T @ThaWeasle pic.twitter.com/IoNHKHDRpU
— Championship Rounds (@ChampRDS) January 22, 2024
There is definitely some minor head clashing after this exchange, as the first video illustrated. However, it’s pretty par for the course to bump heads occasionally in the clinch and while wrestling. This is more incidental contact than head butt, and if that little bit of rubbing was enough to split the cut further, well, it was probably going to happen in the next nine minutes of scrapping at some point or another.
Time to move on.
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