Eric Nicksick revealed the advice he gave to Sean Strickland after the latter’s physical altercation with Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 296.
On January 20, Sean Strickland will defend his middleweight title for the first time since shockingly dethroning Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision. The controversial 185-pound king looks to continue his run by taking out Dricus Du Plessis in the UFC 297 main event.
Strickland and Du Plessis didn’t seem to have a problem with each other until the seasonal press conference during the UFC 296 fight week. ‘Stillknocks’ made a comment about the middleweight champion’s abusive childhood, which quickly escalated their relationship into an intense rivalry.
Later that week, both fighters were surprisingly sat next to each other at UFC 296. The world-class middleweights couldn’t wait until January 20, as Strickland jumped two rows back and started an all-out brawl with Du Plessis.
Strickland’s head coach, Eric Nicksick of Xtreme Couture, recently did an interview with Jimmy Smith on Unlocking the Cage to discuss the UFC 296 fight and various other topics. Nicksick had this to say about his thoughts on what went down and his advice to Strickland:
“We got back to the gym on that Monday [after UFC 296]. As a coach, in my head, I already had what I wanted to say to him. I actually texted him that weekend after it all happened on Saturday when they got in the brawl. I just said to him, look bro, this is what he wants.”
Nicksick continued by revealing what he told Strickland:
“He wants you to be emotional and having you emotional takes you out of what we do very well and that’s calculated chaos and getting in there and trying to dismantle this guy in five rounds but doing it in our way. If you decide to fight this fight emotional, it takes you out of your defensive element, which you’re so great, at least holes and openings that Dricus wants. It’s not the right approach when you ask me.”
Watch the UFC 296 altercation between Strickland and Du Plessis below:
Sean Strickland admits to biting Dricus du Plessis ear during their fist fight at #UFC296 ‼️👂
“I’m so happy they(UFC production team) didn’t get it from the right angle,” Strickland said on This Past Weekend w/ Theo Von. “I bit him. I shit you not.”
“.. I start thinking, how… pic.twitter.com/P7dLvSa7vJ
— Parry Punch (@ParryPunchNews) January 2, 2024
Eric Nicksick talks about Sean Strickland continuing to adjust to the UFC champion spotlight
At the end of 2022, Sean Strickland was coming off two consecutive losses against Alex Pereira and Jared Cannonier. It seemed like Strickland would be another top middleweight contender who wouldn’t obtain UFC gold before he won three fights in a row, including his life-changing performance against Israel Adesanya.
During the previously mentioned interview, Eric Sicksick had this to say about how he and Strickland are adjusting to the spotlight of being a UFC champion:
“Certainly from a human element, it’s like you can’t say certain things and not expect certain things thrown back at you, that’s going to be part of the situation as well. All of this is a learning experience for him, and I think being in the center stage spotlight that he is now being the champion, those are the kind of the working pains were going to have to go through as we get better and as we grow into this role that we are as middleweight world champion.”
Sean Strickland has a statement to make at UFC 297 to silence those who believe his win against Israel Adesanya was a fluke. It’ll be easier said than done as Dricus Du Plessis continues to surprise the MMA community, especially with his latest victory against former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.
Watch Eric Nicksick talk about Sean Strickland and the UFC 296 brawl below:
"This is what he wants. He wants you emotional."
— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) January 9, 2024