Laura Sanko Explains Why Judges Favored Dricus Du Plessis Over Sean Strickland, ‘Stillknocks’ And Israel Adesanya Should Fight At UFC 300

Sanko shared her thoughts on UFC 297 and what's next for "Stillknocks."

Laura Talks Ufc 297
Laura Talks Ufc 297 - Image credit @MMAFighting Youtube @UFC twitter
  • Laura Sanko suggested a logical reason why the judges favored Dricus du Plessis over Sean Strickland at UFC 297
  • The UFC commentator is rooting for “Stillknocks” vs. Israel Adesanya at UFC 300

Laura Sanko thinks the judges were right to hand Dricus du Plessis the split decision win over Sean Strickland at UFC 297 and wants to see the new middleweight champ face Israel Adesanya at UFC 300.

Bigger punches are more important

Speaking to MMA Fighting, the UFC commentator enlightened fans who think Strickland should’ve won as he clearly outpunched Du Plessis with jabs. According to Sanko, it was “Stillknocks” who threw and landed the bigger punches. Sanko pointed out that judges always favor the bigger punches over volume in such kind of fights.

“Sean did well as he always does that. Sean did better than usual. It was just a lack of, you can’t even say it was a lack of volume because it wasn’t a lack of volume. It was a lack of oomph on the majority of his shots that just again allowed uh DDP to pull away just by the narrowest of margins,” Sanko began.

“That is in keeping with the criteria and how judges are taught to interpret the criteria and that’s what people need to keep in mind is that there is an inherent bias to bigger punches in the scoring criteria. And you know whenever I’m judging a fight and this is kind of how I was taught to judge a fight and it makes a lot of sense to me,” she explained.

“Even knowing that [eye cut was bleeding], I still scored it just barely for DDP and to me again, it came down to when Dricus would hit him, whether it was some of the body kicks, some of the maybe one or two of the head kicks, nothing like major, no one got knocked down right, that makes it easy to score  but every time Dricus would connect, there was like you could see Sean physically sort of moved back a bit, there was impact, there was a density to his strikes that you just don’t get when Sean was hitting him,” she added.

DDP should face Izzy at 300

Even before Du Plessis became the new 185-pound king, Khamzat Chimaev has already been linked to a title shot. For Sanko, if the UFC would really consider “Stillknocks” for UFC 300, there’s no better way than to book him against Izzy, especially at this point.

“I know people keep bringing up Chimaev versus DDP, to me, I think it needs to be Izzy. That, at least personally that’s the one that I’m most interested in seeing for so many different reasons and I think I’m even more excited to see it watching how he approached Robert Whittaker, watching how he approached Sean Strickland, it is a more fascinating technical matchup now than it would have been a year ago,” Sanko said.

Du Plessis is also not in favor of Chimaev getting a title shot in the middleweight division. Like Sanko, “Stillknocks” also fancies taking on Adesanya at UFC 300.

Check out Sanko’s full interview below:

Published on January 24, 2024 at 12:07 pm
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