Dricus Du Plessis claims Sean Strickland admitted he lost before UFC 297 scorecards were read

By Cole Shelton - January 26, 2024

Dricus Du Plessis says Sean Strickland admitted defeat after their middleweight title fight at UFC 297 went the distance.

Dricus Du Plessis and Sean Strickland

Strickland was looking to defend his title for the first time against Du Plessis and their highly anticipated bout resulted in a back-and-forth scrap. When the final bell rang many were torn on who won, as it likely came down to the second round.

In the end, two of the three judges scored the bout for Dricus Du Plessis who won the fight by split decision. Since then, Sean Strickland has taken to social media and claimed he won the fight. But, speaking on Super Sport podcast Du Plessis says the former champ told him in the Octagon that he lost.

“He came to me in the cage, I think this is the first time publicly I’ll say this, he came to me in the cage right before they announced me as the new champion. I went to him and I shook his hand, and I said, ‘You’re a warrior, well done, was a great fight’. And he said, ‘No, you definitely beat me.’ He said to me, ‘You deserve it, you won that fight, you beat me.’ I said, I also think so. I have to agree with you on that. After I won the fight. You could see in his face, he knew.”

Dricus Du Plessis also believes that when the ref had both of their hands, Sean Strickland looked defeated because he knew he lost the fight.

Of course, there is no proof Strickland did say that in the Octagon, and all his comments since the fight have made it clear that he thinks he won. But, according to Du Plessis that is all a lie as after the fight Strickland admitted he lost the scrap.

Regardless, it was an extremely close fight, but the two won’t be running it back. Instead, Du Plessis has turned his attention to Israel Adesanya and having his first title defense against the former champ. Strickland, meanwhile, has not said when or who he’s looking to return.

But, if Du Plessis can get past Adesanya and Strickland can win a fight, perhaps they run it back and settle the score once and for all.

With the win over Sean Strickland at UFC 297, Dricus Du Plessis improved to 21-2 as a pro and is 7-0 in the UFC. In his career, he also holds notable wins over Robert Whittaker, Derek Brunson, and Darren Till among others.