Four months after dethroning Israel Adesanya, Strickland will defend his 185-pound throne for the first time against Du Plessis. There are many factors included in the UFC 297 main event, which Cejudo, a former two-division UFC champion, broke down in a recent YouTube video.
One of the biggest difference-makers in Strickland vs. Du Plessis is the comments made by the latter about the middleweight king’s abusive childhood. The controversial trash talk led to a brawl between the UFC 297 headliners in the crowd of UFC 296.
As a result, there are concerns about Strickland’s emotions potentially negatively affecting his upcoming performance against Du Plessis. Cejudo addressed this factor with the following quote from the previously mentioned YouTube video:
“The biggest thing to me is where is [Strickland] at mentally? When you put so much stress on yourself, when you let the media in, you let analysts, guys like myself, and we’re allowed to kind of express our feelings of the situation, that stuff will get to you. Either that or you shouldn’t bring that stuff up, but it’s too late now. They talk to the world, talking about about stabbing Dricus du Plessis.”
“If you go out there on Saturday and fight emotionally, Sean, you’re gonna be in trouble. This is my biggest question right here. Can Sean Strickland fight? 100%, but will he fight right? Or will he listen to his emotions?”
Henry Cejudo reveals his prediction for the UFC 297 main event between Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis
According to Bovada, Sean Strickland is a -140 betting favorite, with Dricus du Plessis as a +115 underdog. Therefore, the oddsmakers believe Strickland will retain his middleweight throne, but it wouldn’t be a massive upset if Du Plessis emerged victorious.
During his YouTube breakdown video, Henry Cejudo revealed his prediction for the UFC 297 main event by saying:
“Love the fight, but if I had to pick somebody to be able to win. I want to go with the American, I really do. I really do, but if [Du Plessis] has trouble taking down Sean Strickland, and Sean Strickland has gone five rounds. It’s hard, I remember I doubted this dude against Robert Whittaker, but if I literally had to pick somebody, I gotta go with [Strickland].”
Cejudo continued by quickly changing his prediction to Du Plessis:
“I’m at the halfway point where I think I wanna go for [Du Plessis]. Because of the emotions going on with Sean Strickland, I take that back, I’m gonna have to go with the king of Africa. I just have to. It seems like his head is on the right place. He has good top control, good ground and pound. As much as I want to go with Sean Strickland…I can not doubt the dude that beat Robert Whittaker.”
Sean Strickland vs. Dricus du Plessis has everything needed to be an action-packed war on Saturday.
Will Strickland prove his win against Israel Adesanya wasn’t a fluke? Or can Du Plessis continue to silence the doubters by extending his UFC record to 7-0? It’s only a matter of time until those questions are answered.
Watch Cejudo’s breakdown video of Strickland vs. Du Plessis below: