Dricus Du Plessis believes he knows one area where UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland struggles.
Du Plessis will be challenging Strickland for the 185-pound gold in the main event of UFC 297. The Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada will play host to the UFC pay-per-view event on January 20, 2024. Du Plessis received the title opportunity once former two-time champion Israel Adesanya announced his hiatus from fighting.
Dricus Du Plessis Praises Sean Strickland’s Toughness
Speaking to Ben Karpinski, Dricus Du Plessis admitted that he thinks the toughness of Sean Strickland is top notch.
“I do see Strickland as one of the tougher guys in the division in terms of like, he’s willing to take shots,” Du Plessis said. “He’s not scared to get punched in the face. I’ve said this, I think he’s one of the toughest guys in the division, and I definitely consider myself the mentally toughest guy in the division. I think the guy closest to me in that area will be Sean Strickland.”
Du Plessis Critical Of Khamzat Chimaev
Du Plessis went on to say that he hasn’t been as impressed with popular rising contender Khamzat Chimaev as he is with Strickland.
“I hear a guy like Khamzat, and I think he talks a lot,” Du Plessis said. “I think he talks about how tough he is and how he finishes people, but in his past two welterweight fights he couldn’t finish one of them. I think he talks a much bigger game than he ─ he’s really good, but not as good as he thinks he is.”
Strickland’s Biggest Weakness
While Du Plessis has respect for Strickland, he believes his upcoming opponent struggles to make adjustments when things aren’t going his way.
“With Sean Strickland, he has his style and when he implements his style, he’s absolutely great, but if he gets taken off of his style, he’s not good. For me, I feel what my weapon in this fight is the fact that I can adapt to any situation. We’ve seen that in a lot of fights where the first round really doesn’t go my way, but to be able to make changes immediately and go and say, ‘Okay, this is how we fight this fight,’ and that’s a big weapon.”
Here’s the video of Ben Karpinski’s interview with Dricus Du Plessis: