UFC fan-favorite Sean Strickland has opened up on his personal struggles that led to lashing out at Dricus du Plessis at UFC 296.
UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland is renowned for his outspoken nature and outlandish takes. However, even in the realm of his unique personality, Strickland draws a line when it comes to certain subjects.
Recently, he found himself in a heated exchange with his upcoming opponent, Dricus du Plessis, leading to a short brawl incident at UFC 296.
The controversy unfolded during a pre-fight press conference where du Plessis directed highly personal comments at Strickland, crossing boundaries that the champion deemed unacceptable. The verbal sparring escalated when du Plessis taunted Strickland with insensitive remarks about his father, prompting a reaction from Strickland at the T-Mobile Arena just 24 hours later.
Reflecting on the incident, Strickland addressed the situation on comedian Theo Von’s podcast, This Past Weekend, and highlighted the topics he feels shouldn’t be brought up.
“There’s some things that are off limits. You don’t really talk about a man’s wife, you don’t talk about a man’s kids, and you don’t talk about a kid being abused. These things are all off limits,” Strickland expressed.
For Strickland, du Plessis’ comments struck a nerve, forcing him to revisit painful memories from his own traumatic childhood in California. Recounting his experiences, Strickland shared uncomfortable stories of domestic violence, where he, as a child, often found himself trying to protect his mother from an abusive father.
UFC Middleweight Champion Sean Strickland Reflects on Traumatic Childhood
As he delved into the details, Strickland revealed a particularly harrowing episode from his past, shedding light on the emotional turmoil he endured.
“I remember I used to always sleep in my mom’s room because I thought my dad was going to kill my mom,” Strickland disclosed, narrating an incident where he had to call the police to have his father arrested.
The emotional toll of his childhood experiences was evident as Strickland continued to recount the constant threats and violence he witnessed growing up.
“I would say that’s the tip of the iceberg,” he admitted, revealing the impact these traumatic events had on his mental well-being.
The emotional scars from his past came to the forefront when du Plessis’ trash talk hit too close to home. Strickland explained, “People understand, when I talk about ‘I’d kill a man,’ it’s like you don’t understand. When you go through that level of trauma, you just greet the world differently.”
Describing the altercation at UFC 296, Strickland acknowledged a moment that didn’t make it to the widely circulated videos – a moment where he resorted to biting du Plessis during the scuffle. “I s*** you not. Whenever he went into me, I remember at that moment, you see my head goes up towards him, I started thinking how can hurt this man? I’m going take a f****** chunk out of him,” he admitted.
Dana White Takes Responsibility
Despite the intense encounter, no police involvement or arrests occurred, and Strickland left the arena with UFC CEO Dana White attributing the incident to seating arrangements. Strickland, however, acknowledged the difficulty of moving past certain events.
While Strickland maintains a lighthearted demeanor when discussing his past, he acknowledges the importance of humor as a coping mechanism.
“I joke about all this s***, as we’re laughing, you’ve got to joke about it. If you don’t, how do you process that kind of abuse?” Strickland remarked, signifying his resilience and ability to find happiness despite the challenges he faced.
What did you make of Sean Strickland opening up on his past? Did du Plessis take it a step to far? Let us know in the comments!