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Title fight hots up as Sean Strickland attacks Dricus du Plessis at UFC 296

UFC Middleweight Champion Sean Strickland and challenger Dricus du Plessis got into an altercation in the crowd at UFC 296 on Saturday.

The pair were in Las Vegas to promote their title fight at UFC 297 on 20 January, but it appears Strickland couldn’t wait that long. Sitting just a couple rows away from each other cage-side at the T-Mobil Arena, the pair came to blows.

Strickland politely asked those seated in between him and the South African to move out of the way, after which he jumped over the chair and rained down several unanswered shots on the challenger. Security was quick to intervene, after which Strickland left the arena altogether.

Commenting on the incident, UFC analyst Joe Rogan was astonished. 

"It's just so ridiculous that the middleweight champion of the world would do that, he’s out of his mind, he really is nuts. Don't do that."

Capitalising on the bizarre moment, du Plessis took to X to throw more shade on the champion.

"Now I understand why you have a 33% finish rate, you hit like a girl, also 20 January the security won't be there to save your life when I'm on top," he tweeted.

UFC Middleweight Champion Sean Strickland and challenger Dricus du Plessis got into an altercation in the crowd at UFC 296 on Saturday.

The pair were in Las Vegas to promote their title fight at UFC 297 on 20 January, but it appears Strickland couldn’t wait that long. Sitting just a couple rows away from each other cage-side at the T-Mobil Arena, the pair came to blows.

Strickland politely asked those seated in between him and the South African to move out of the way, after which he jumped over the chair and rained down several unanswered shots on the challenger. Security was quick to intervene, after which Strickland left the arena altogether.

Commenting on the incident, UFC commentator Joe Rogan was astonished. 

"It's just so ridiculous that the middleweight champion of the world would do that, he's out of his mind, he really is nuts. Don't do that."

Capitalising on the bizarre moment, du Plessis took to X to throw more shade on the champion.

In a typical expletive-laden name-calling UFC press conference earlier this week, du Plessis clearly hit a nerve when he brought Strickland's abusive father into the spicy verbal jabs. Strickland referred to that fact in a tweet after Saturday's incident, suggesting it may be the root cause of his actions.

"I go hard on everyone I know this, izzy mouth feeding his dog, Dricus kissing his coach and grabbing his cup. Omally talking about sharing his wife in a podcast," he wrote.

"You're a man, on a world stage doing this in public. And what do you pick? "You got abused as a kid ha".

Strickland will mount his first title defence against the dangerous du Plessis on 20 January at UFC 297 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada.

READ MORE: UFC 296 - Leon Edwards and Alexandre Pantoja defend titles, Shavkhat Rakhmonov continues incredible finishing streak

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