Sean Strickland Shows Off Nasty Eye Injury, Disputes Split-Decision Loss at UFC 297: We All Know I Won’

Sean Strickland

Sean Strickland remains adamant that an illegal headbutt is what changed the trajectory of his UFC 297 title tilt with Dricus Du Plessis.

After 25 minutes of entertaining action, Strickland came up short on two of the three scorecards, surrendering his middleweight title four months after his shocking upset of Israel Adesanya in September. Like the judges, practically everyone who watched the fight was split on the outcome, including UFC CEO Dana White and Joe Rogan who both suggested that Strickland had done enough to leave Toronto with his title intact.

The stats certainly make a case for Strickland as he outlanded Du Plessis 183 to 140 in significant strikes. Those who agreed with the decision cited the six takedowns from ‘Stillknocks’ as being the difference-maker, but ‘DDP’ was only able to muster up two minutes of control time and zero strikes on the ground.

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Does Sean Strickland Have a Legitimate Case For an immediate rematch?

However, if that’s not convincing enough, perhaps an illegal headbutt will have you rethinking the outcome. Taking to social media, ‘Tarzan’ showed off a nasty cut he sustained in the main event. He also presented some pretty compelling evidence to suggest that the course-changing injury came as the result of a clash of heads against the fence.

“We all know I won,” Strickland wrote on X. “The only reason why it wasn’t one sided for 5 rounds is the headbutt took my eye….. Wasn’t touched till the blood took my vision..”

Strickland has an undeniably strong case for an immediate rematch. Unfortunately, it looks as though the UFC will be looking to book Israel Adesanya for Du Plessis’ first defense.

“I’m really enjoying this,” Du Plessis said when asked how winning the championship felt in a post-fight interview. “I would love… There’s another guy who tried to take my shine. He lost his shine. Now I have your shine. Didn’t get into the cage tonight, but Israel Adesanya, get your ass back to the UFC so we could settle the score.