UFC President Dana White didn’t mince words Saturday night when he was asked about the melee involving fighters Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis.
The two fought in the stands ahead of UFC 297 on Jan. 29. They were in attendance for UFC 296, which was main-evented by Colby Covington and Leon Edwards. White took responsibility for the brawl, blaming himself for putting the two heavy hitters next to each other.
“What kind of an a–hole sits Strickland next to du Plessis,” White asked rhetorically. “This a–hole, that’s who. … I do every seating assignment every week. How f—ing stupid is that? I mean, seriously, I don’t know what humans you can sit Strickland next to, but definitely not Du Plessis. I don’t know how I missed that.”
“It’s my job to make sure that stuff doesn’t happen. If I wasn’t an a–hole, those two wouldn’t have been sitting next to each other. It blows my mind that I let that slip.”
Du Plessis was booing Strickland before the latter stood up, pointed an imaginary gun in his direction and fired away. That’s when Strickland turned around and started having words with Du Plessis. Strickland then told those in between him and Du Plessis – at least one kid was in the row behind him – to move over.
With cameras still trained on them, Strickland approached Du Plessis and started to throw punches, landing his right hand on Du Plessis’ head numerous times.
The feud went to social media afterward, too.
“I go hard on everyone I know this, izzy mouth feeding his dog, Dricus kissing his coach and grabbing his cup,” Strickland wrote on X, calling out fellow UFC fighter Israel Adesanya in the process. “[Sean] Omalley (sic) talking about sharing his wife in a podcast. You’re a man, on a world stage doing this in public.”
Du Plessis fired right back with his own.
“Now I understand why you have a 33% finish rate, you hit like a girl, also 20 January the security won’t be there to save your life when I’m on top #rentfree,” Du Plessis tweeted.
Strickland is 28-5 in his MMA career with a 15-5 mark in UFC. Du Plessis is 20-2 all-time and 6-0 in UFC.
UFC 297 is set for Toronto.
Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.