Strickland Vs. Du Plessis Brawl Purged From UFC 297 Countdown Video

The official Countdown show for UFC 297 on January 20th has dropped, and the UFC has made some interesting decisions on what they included, and what they decided to hide.

The promotion’s first pay-per-view of 2024 goes down from Toronto, Canada and is headlined by a middleweight title scrap between champion Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis. Strickland and Du Plessis have bad blood: after “Stillknocks” mocked “Tarzan” over abuse he suffered as a child, the two brawled in the crowd at UFC 296.

None of that made it into the UFC 297 Countdown show.

We have footage from the press conference that carefully edits around Dricus’ mentions of abuse. And then the incident at UFC 296? Not even hinted at. It’s a somewhat surprising move, given how quickly they were to package the moment and show it during the UFC 296 pay-per-view, and on socials the week after.

Honestly, the story surrounding Strickland vs. Du Plessis is good enough without all that garbage. The Countdown opens up by comparing Sean’s win over Israel Adesanya to other historic upsets: Matt Serra vs. Georges St-Pierre, Holly Holm over Ronda Rousey, and Chris Weidman over Anderson Silva. We get a replay of the fight, and Strickland’s dominant decision win.

“Fighting against high level strikers is a chess match, and every round is different and changes,” Strickland said. “If you’re not willing to change and adapt, you don’t win. He just stuck to what he thought he was going to do, no change, no adaptation. B—h is good, but he was playing checkers and I was playing chess.”

Some new behind the scenes footage is shown: Strickland’s team at dinner following the win, and Strickland being greeted as champion back at his gym, XTreme Couture.

The segments on Dricus Du Plessis are just as compelling. Du Plessis gets a lot of criticism over his lack of sound fundamentals, but his extensive KO reel from ECC to KSW to UFC proves he’s no fluke. The shadow of Israel Adesanya looms over the entire episode. Word is “The Last Stylebender” will be in Toronto to watch Strickland vs. Du Plessis go down. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where he doesn’t step in the cage to challenge the winner.

All this, plus a fight for the vacant women’s bantamweight title between Mayra Bueno Silva and Raquel Pennington. January 20th can’t come soon enough!

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