Sean Strickland explains why Dricus Du Plessis is a “harder fight” compared to Israel Adesanya

By Cole Shelton - January 17, 2024

Sean Strickland doesn’t think Dricus Du Plessis is better than Israel Adesanya but does think he will be a harder fight.

Sean Strickland

Strickland pulled off arguably the biggest upset of 2023 as he beat Adesanya in a lopsided fashion to become the new middleweight champion. It was a stunning performance, and heading into his first title defense at UFC 297 against Du Plessis, Strickland thinks this fight could be more challenging, despite him thinking Adesanyais a better fighter.

“I think it’s going to be a harder fight than Izzy. The thing about Dricus is he just likes to fight. Is he the best? Probably not. But, he goes in there and just fights to win. That is a hard fight, man,” Sean Strickland said about Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297 media day. “I have trained with a lot of guys that I’m way better than and they just mentally want to be there and it makes it a tough fight. I’m better than him. I’m a better grappler, better jiu-jitsu. What are your accolades? You beat a dead horse, Derek Brunson?

“I mean, is he even in the UFC? They cut him after that, that performance was so terrible. Derek Brunson, I think he might have died on the stool. We need to bring back TRT, thank God USADA is gone, so we can bring back Derek Brunson. I mean, come on, now and then you go fight Whittaker. Whittaker was a great fight, but it’s like is that Whittaker we have ever seen? Whittaker f*****g quit, maybe he’s that good, but I think he fought two dead horses, put them out to pasture,” Strickland continued.

Although Sean Strickland doesn’t think Dricus Du Plessis’ last two wins were impressive, the South African was the underdog against Robert Whittaker and not many were thinking he would get the win. However, Strickland thinks that was more because of Whittaker being on a decline than Du Plessis being as good as people think.

Sean Strickland will get to see if that is the case on Saturday night when he faces Dricus Du Plessis for the middleweight title. Strickland is entering the fight as a small -125 favorite while Du Plessis is a +105 underdog in the main event of UFC 297 which takes place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Dricus du Plessis Sean Strickland UFC