There’s been a lot of debate over who won UFC 297’s headlining middleweight title showdown, but according to newly crowned champion Dricus du Plessis, his rival Sean Strickland actually told him immediately after the fight that he deserved to win.
“He came to me in the cage,” Du Plessis recalled on SuperSportTV. “And I think this is the first time I’ve said this – he came to me in the cage immediately after the fight, before they announced me as the new champion. And I went to him and I shook his hand and I said, ‘You’re a warrior, well done. It was a great fight.’ And he said ‘No, you definitely beat me.’ He said to me ‘You deserve it, you won that fight.’”
However, later in his post-fight interviews Strickland had suggested that the only way du Plessis won was due to a headbutt in the fourth round that left him unable to see properly from the blood streaming down his face.
Opinions on who should have won have been split, with the likes of Dana White and Joe Rogan both having suggested Strickland should have got the nod, while others like Michael Bisping and Chael Sonnen saw it for du Plessis.