Michael Bisping says Strickland vs. Du Plessis is ‘very personal’

By Zain Bando - January 17, 2024

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping is familiar with big fights, as he won the title from Luke Rockhold on under two weeks’ notice at UFC 199 in June 2016.

Michael Bisping

Eight years later, Bisping, now a UFC color commentator and analyst for the U.K.-based television network TNT Sports, broke down the UFC 297 middleweight championship main event between Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis on the event’s preview show.

The fight occurs Saturday night from Toronto, Canada, with the pay-per-view portion culminating at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Michael Bisping breaks down UFC 297 main event

*Quotes have been edited for clarity.

“What a way to start the new year,” Michael Bisping said. (H/T Eurosport) “UFC 297, this main event is just spectacular. Sean Strickland, the middleweight champion of the world, was the man who went out there and shocked the entire planet when he beat Israel Adesanya. He’s not shy of being controversial, doesn’t mince his words, and goes up against Dricus Du Plessis, a man that is just phenomenal.”

Bisping said the impromptu UFC 296 brawl between Strickland and Du Plessis would only fuel the fire as Saturday night drew closer.

“It’s nasty,” Michael Bisping said when recalling the scuffle. “We don’t want to see that kind of stuff, but let’s be honest, that’s going to sell pay-per-views because everybody wants to see this fight because now, not only is it two brilliant fighters, but it’s also very, very personal.”

Bisping said the fight could play out multiple ways, but the main factor comes down to Du Plessis’s one-punch KO power.

“That jab that he dropped Whittaker with was beautiful, and the combination that followed was amazing,” Michael Bisping said. “On top of that, he’s very strong, got great grappling, and if he gets taken down, he can get back to his feet. But in this fight, I don’t think we’re going to see much of that.”

Bisping says regardless of the outcome, fans will be entertained.

“I believe these two men are going to meet in the center of the Octagon,” Bisping said. They’re going to throw down; it’s very, very personal.”

Bisping held the middleweight title for less than two years, securing only one successful defense before losing to Georges St.-Pierre in the Canadian’s final MMA fight in November 2017.

What are your thoughts on Michael Bisping’s pre-fight analysis ahead of Strickland vs. du Plessis? Let us know, Penn Nation!


Dricus du Plessis Michael Bisping Sean Strickland UFC 297