Robert Whittaker reacts to the crowd brawl between Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 296: “I think that fight looked a little staged”

By Susan Cox - December 19, 2023

Robert Whittaker is reacting to the crowd brawl between Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 296.

Robert Whittaker, Sean Strickland, UFC 296, UFC

It’s true that Strickland and Du Plessis got into it at UFC 296, ahead of their scheduled bout this coming January (see that here).

The current UFC middleweight champion, Sean Strickland (28-5 MMA) will take on Dricus Du Plessis (20-2 MMA) on Saturday, January 20th at UFC 297 which takes place at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario.

Robert Whittaker (24-7 MMA) has shared his insight into the incident last Saturday, believing it was all just ‘staged’ to bring their upcoming bout in the new year to the forefront.

‘The Reaper’, speaking on his ‘MMArcade Podcast’ shared his thoughts on the ‘brawl’:

“I thought it was staged, mate, honestly. Because it was weird. It was weird the way it happened. You saw the way Strickland was like, ‘Move aside, please.’ Makes sense, but then he jumps in like WWE style. The way he was punching, the way he was kind of like, I don’t know, fake punching to the back of Dricus. Maybe it was just for entertainment, and which case, you can’t really give him anything for it. I don’t know. It’s a bit silly. He’s the champ. It was a weird little scuffle, I am gonna say.”

Continuing the former middleweight champion said:

“I also heard him talking smack about me in the press conference. I don’t think it was smack talk, to be honest. He just off-commented how — downplayed my abilities. I don’t expect him to pump tires, to be honest, and yeah, I don’t think I’m as one-dimensional as he says. I think my blitz is a strong part of my game, but I got other tricks.”

Concluding, Robert Whittaker said (h/t MMAMania):

“It was nothing really. I’m not gonna say I like him, but I don’t hate him because he’s kind of holistically against everybody, you know what I mean? He’s holistically rude. He’s not singling out certain people or genres or races or colors, he’s just kinda tellin’ off everyone. Being rude to everyone. I don’t hate that. But I don’t know, I think that fight looked a little staged. Staged on Strickland’s behalf, I don’t think Dricus got the memo.”

Whittaker last fought in July of this year at UFC 290, where he suffered a TKO defeat against Du Plessis.

As for what is next for Whittaker, he’s called out Paula Costa (14-2 MMA) for UFC 299 which takes place in March of 2024, but there has yet to be a response from Costa’s camp as to whether or not they’ll sign the contract.

Do you agree with Robert Whittaker that the whole ‘brawl’ at UFC 296 was ‘staged’ for publicity purposes?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!


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