‘Kills Me’-Sean Strickland’s Coach Admits His Frustration From UFC 297 Loss Against Dricus Du Plessis

Published 01/25/2024, 3:08 PM EST

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Many, including UFC boss Dana White, felt, that, despite losing a close split-decision to Dricus Du Plessis, Sean Strickland actually won the fight. Keeping their promise of going to war, the two men engaged in a back-and-forth for the five rounds.

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‘Stillknocks’ made history and became the first fighter from South Africa to win a UFC title after the win, and called out Israel Adesanya to “settle the score”. Strickland’s coach Eric Nicksick, joined UFC commentator Jon Anik on the ‘Anik and Florian Show’.

Eric Nicksick took Sean Strickland loss to Du Plessis personally

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On being asked, what he thought of the Strickland-Du Plessis fight, coach Eric Nicksick revealed that he had not re-watched the fight yet as he dreaded the prospect of seeing the things he could have done different in the corner.

“Honestly I haven’t watched it back yet, Kenny. I’ve been busy, like the moment I landed and then I also have like that, I would say PTSD, but I just have like this anxiousness about, like what crumbs we might have left behind. And that’s what kills me the most, man, is like those close fights… and those close fights hurt me the most because that means we left some crumbs behind,” he said.

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The coach felt that the fight being so close, they failed at the optics and doing the little things that may have swayed the decision in his favor. Nicksick took it as a personal failure and was crushed that Strickland had lost the title.

“We didn’t win the optics battle, we didn’t do little things that we could have done, I think, to sway the judges. And that falls on me as a coach, man and that’s a tough pill to swallow at times. Because it’s a title man, you know it’s a world title and I know how hard those are to come by,” Nicksick added. And it seems ‘Tarzan’ is unlikely to get a title shot next as two of the biggest stars have expressed interest in fighting Du Plessis.

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Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya both hint at a Du Plessis bout

Dricus Du Plessis has said in interviews after UFC 297 that he wanted to call-out former middleweight champion Alex Pereira. But, since ‘Poatan’ has moved up to and won the championship at light heavyweight and is the division’s current champion, Du Plessis chose to call-out Adesanya instead.

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Alex Pereira posted a poster of him on Instagram with the caption “Maybe one last Rodeo at Middleweight?”, indicating he might be interested in fighting Du Plessis. On the other hand, Israel Adesanya posted a video of him bumping into ‘DDP’ during a 2016 practice session and claimed their paths are “destined to cross again” and that they will “Write History Together”. Who do you think Du Plessis should face next?

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Written by:

Kanishk Thakur

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One take at a time

Hi, I am Kanishk and I am a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. I love telling the stories of these magnificent fighters and this wildly unpredictable sport that is so frustrating and yet so joyous at the same time. I never really used to watch MMA, thinking it too crude or brutal a sport to deserve respect.
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Edited by:

Anuj Jacob

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