“That Favors Dricus” – Bringing His Abusive Father in Trash Talking, Du Plessis Edges Out Sean Strickland “Stylistically” According to UFC Champ’s Coach

Published 12/31/2023, 12:09 AM EST

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The fans already witnessed a heated build-up to the middleweight title fight at UFC 297. Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis will headline the first pay-per-view of 2024. Meanwhile, ‘Tarzan’s coach Eric Nicksick recently appeared in an interview where he highlighted one major hurdle the champion could face during the fight against ‘Stillknocks’.

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Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis went at each other during the 2024 seasonal press conference. While the former took digs at his opponent’s relationship with his coach, the latter brought up the champion’s traumatic childhood. As such, Eric Nicksick weighed in on the situation during an interview with ‘MMA Junkie‘. Let’s see what he had to say.

Dricus du Plessis could take advantage of an emotional Sean Strickland

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Eric Nicksick talked about the drama that transpired between Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis. The fighters even brawled at UFC 296 in the crowd, following which they were ushered out of the arena. Nicksick mentioned that he told Strickland not to get charged with emotions, which could prove to be a problem for him against the South African.

“I did say like, ‘Hey, fighting emotionally is not who we are, and stylistically, that favors Dricus more. [It] opens us up more. So we need to stick to our game plan [and] do what we need to do,'” said Eric Nicksick.

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Nevertheless, everyone is well acquainted with the fact that Sean Strickland likes to say whatever he wants to anybody he wants. As such, other people might try to do the same thing. So things could get harsh if someone chooses to go down that route.

 

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“There are two sides to that coin. Sean has no problems saying what he says about everybody else. So, people are probably going to poke and say things about him as well. I think it’s a tough road to tow,” Eric Nicksick added. In addition to that, Strickland’s coach also mentioned how Dricus du Plessis’ words affected the champion. Let’s have a look at that front.

Du Plessis “triggered” the middleweight champion with his words

Eric Nicksick claimed that Sean Strickland did not take the things du Plessis said about his father. That seemingly charged the UFC champion, and he seems more motivated than ever. However, ‘Tarzan’s coach does not want that. Nicksick doesn’t advocate getting emotional because of words. He said, “Can’t get too emotional about those situations. They are just words, but at the end of the day, I did feel like he was triggered and there was a few days where it just kind of motivated him.”

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USA Today via Reuters

The thirst to defeat Dricus du Plessis was always present in Sean Strickland. Nevertheless, Eric Nicksick warned his champion fighter to have the right objectives in mind, rather than getting back at ‘Stillknocks’ for his words. “The motivation was there. Believe me. But I wanted him to understand that we need to have the right motivation,” Strickland’s coach added.

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The UFC 297 headliner is already shaping up to be an exciting one, primarily due to the heated back-and-forth between Strickland and Dricus du Plessis. It will be ‘Tarzan’s first title defense and there is no doubt in the fact that the South African is not a pushover. It remains to be seen if Strickland starts 2024 on a high or if du Plessis finally captures the title.

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Written by:

Himanga Mahanta

1,778Articles

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I am a UFC writer at EssentiallySports, and my passion for MMA and a deep understanding of its intricacies have allowed me to churn out more than 1000 articles. I have covered numerous UFC events and fighters, with the aim of bringing my readers closer to the action and the athletes they admire. I have developed a knack for providing analytical coverage of breaking stories from the world of MMA.
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Edited by:

Joyita Das

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