Sean Strickland reacts after booking title fight against Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297: “Didn’t want to fight in Jan or in Canada”

By Cole Shelton - November 6, 2023

Sean Strickland has reacted to the news that he will be defending his middleweight title in the main event of UFC 297 on Jan. 20 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada against Dricus Du Plessis.

Sean Strickland

On Monday afternoon, UFC CEO Dana White announced that Strickland will headline UFC 297 against Du Plessis in a very intriguing fight. It will be the first time Strickland defends his middleweight title, but according to the champ, he says he didn’t want to fight in January, or in Canada.


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“Well Canada time to bring you all some freedom. Didn’t want to fight in Jan or in Canada but was asked to help a couple ladies do their job.. and they call me sexist,” Strickland wrote.

Sean Strickland then took to X to add another reaction.

“Why Canada?!?! GSP you do this bs?! No guns, no freedom of speech.. UFC you fucking with me?!?!,” Strickland added.

Of course, the UFC announced Raquel Pennington vs. Mayra Bueno Silva for the vacant women’s bantamweight title for the card. Originally, it wasn’t announced if that would be the main event, but after the weekend, the UFC made Strickland vs. Du Plessis, which the middleweight champ says was to help strengthen their pay-per-view.

Sean Strickland (28-5) won the middleweight title back in September as he beat Israel Adesanya by decision. Prior to that, he had scored a second-round knockout win over Abus Magomedov and in January and beat Nassourdine Imavov by decision at light heavyweight. Strickland is 15-5 in the UFC and is 6-2 since moving up to middleweight but did beat Brendan Allen at a catchweight and Imavov at 205lbs due to it being on short notice.

Dricus Du Plessis (20-2) is coming off the biggest win of his career as he scored a second-round TKO win over Robert Whittaker back in July. The South African is 6-0 in the UFC and riding an eight-fight win streak. Prior to the win over Whittaker, du Plessis beat Derek Brunson by TKO, Darren Till by submission, Brad Tavares by decision, Trevin Giles by KO, and Markus Perez by KO.


Dricus du Plessis Sean Strickland UFC