New video shows Sean Strickland’s instant backstage reaction after Dricus du Plessis loss
Sean Strickland’s first outing as a UFC champion did not go as planned.
The now former UFC middleweight champion released behind-the-scenes video this week documenting the before and after of his UFC 297 main event against Dricus du Plessis. The footage, which published on Strickland’s YouTube channel, shows Strickland’s arrival to Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena alongside teammate Chris Curtis, the pair warming up backstage under the watchful eye of UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira, and Strickland’s immediate reaction following his split decision loss.
After a closely contested back-and-forth bout, one judge scored the 48-47 for Strickland, while two others turned in 48-47 scorecards for South African challenger du Plessis.
Watch Strickland’s journey above.
“Once that eye opened up, man, I just couldn’t see s***,” Strickland said after returning to the locker room with his team. “Welcome to fighting. I feel like Chris Curtis. I’m going to start f****** calling myself Chris Curtis.”
Strickland has since blamed the cut he suffered mid-fight due to an accidental head butt as the catalyst for his loss. “I didn’t take the coward’s way out and tell the doctor I couldn’t see and got a no-contest,” Strickland wrote on Instagram after UFC 297. “The only reason why you took a round from me is because I couldn’t see. I won that fight, the world knows I won that fight. The belt they gave you will never make you a champion, enjoy.”
UFC CEO Dana White revealed post-fight that he scored the bout for Strickland but said the UFC does not plan to book an immediate rematch between Strickland and du Plessis.