Sean Strickland’s coach reacts after UFC 297 title loss to Dricus Du Plessis: “We needed to win the optics battle”

By Susan Cox - January 23, 2024

Sean Strickland’s coach is reacting after UFC 297 title loss to Dricus Du Plessis.

Eric Nicksick and Sean Strickland

It was just this past Saturday, January 20th at UFC 297 that saw Dricus Du Plessis (21-2 MMA) defeat Sean Strickland (28-6) by split decision in a middleweight bout to capture the UFC middleweight title.

It was Strickland’s head coach, Eric Nicksick who took to ‘Instagram‘ with a photo of the two fighters, ‘Stillknocks‘ hand raised, and the following message:

“Congratulations to @dricusduplessis and his team. I never met a more classy opposing fighter during fight week, along with the skills to back it up. I’m happy for you, your team, and your country, you made them proud.”

Continuing, Nicksick said:

“The fight was close. Close fights mean we needed to win the optics battle. Live, I had Sean Strickland winning 1,2, & 5, but all that matters are the 3 cage side. I’ll watch it again, to see where we/I can be better. Much love to everyone who supported us. On to the next!! #TTD ⚡︎”

So there you have it, praise to the new champion from Nicksick.

The 44-year-old coach thought his fighter did enough in rounds 1, 2 and 5 for a victory, but acknowledged that it’s ultimately the judges decision.

Du Plessis was quick to respond to ‘Tarzan’s’ coach saying:

“Thank you so much for the kind words coach, you and the team are incredible and it was an honour to battle the best in the business. Thank you for the war and the true warrior like respect before and after the war.”

Were you watching last Saturday? How did you judge the fight – for Sean Strickland or Dricus Du Plessis?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!


Sean Strickland UFC UFC 297