Sean Strickland Blames Headbutt For Title Loss To Dricus du Plessis

Sean Strickland has pinned the blame for his middleweight title loss to Dricus du Plessis at UFC 297 on a headbutt that occurred during the fight.

“Well f—k haha … that headbutt really made it difficult to see, but I thought we got the job done,” Strickland wrote on Sunday. “Blood and all!!! Onto the next one!!!. Thanks to everyone who supported me!!!!!”

What is this headbutt Strickland is referring to?

Well it wasn’t immediately obvious watching it live, but on closer inspection there’s a moment early in the 4th round when du Plessis clinches up with Strickland against the cage and then raises his head upwards, leading to a connection around the area of his opponent’s left eye, before also throwing a right hand.

It’s worth noting that Strickland already had a cut on his left eye prior to this incident, but whether due to what appeared to be a minor accidental headclash or the blow afterwards, the cut certainly did appear to be visibly worse afterwards.

“I didn’t take the coward’s way out and tell the doctor I couldn’t see and got a no contest,” Strickland stated on Instagram. “The only reason why you took a round from me is because I couldn’t see.

“I won that fight, the world knows I won that fight… The belt they gave you will never make you a champion, enjoy.

“They had to stitch through muscle to get it closed.

Thank you to everyone your support has really kept my head up high through all this, grateful forever”

Strickland also reiterated that point on X.

“We all know I won… The only reason why it wasn’t one sided for 5 rounds is the headbutt took my eye….. Wasn’t touched till the blood took my vision..”

Du Plessis has since responded, and clearly isn’t impressed with Strickland’s attempts to disregard his title victory, which came via split-decision.

“Why don’t you cry about it… again,” du Plessis wrote on Instagram.

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