Dricus du Plessis shows off gruesome eye injury after beating Sean Strickland to win middleweight title UFC 297

Dricus du Plessis shows off gruesome eye injury after beating Sean Strickland to win middleweight title UFC 297

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Dricus du Plessis brought a new meaning to the phrase ‘no pain, no gain’ after becoming the new UFC Middleweight champion on Saturday night.

After five rounds, the South African claimed a split-decision victory over Sean Strickland in a battle of blood and gore in Toronto.

Du Plessis was busted up early but went on to claim the win regardless

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Du Plessis was busted up early but went on to claim the win regardlessCredit: Getty

Both fighters certainly left their mark on the other with Du Plessis later showing off a mighty shiner in his post-fight press conference.

Whilst sat with a microphone, ‘Stillknocks’ face looked battered and bruised and his eye was completely purple where it had swelled up, stopping him from opening it.

He asked the pool of reporters: “Just for the record, are there some people who think I lost the fight?”

When one responded saying UFC president Dana White, Du Plessis responded: “Dana said it? That’s bulls***.”

Du Plessis’ victory was extremely narrow, with judge Derek Cleary and Eric Colon scoring it 48-47 to the challenger, while Sal D’Amato judged it 48-47 to Strickland.

It was a decision that White disagreed with while every judge did come to the same conclusion that Strickland had won the last round.

“We were just looking at how the media had scored it, and it was right down the middle. I had it 2-2 going into the last round. And I thought Strickland won the last round,” the UFC chief said.

The damage to Du Plessis’ eye seemed to occur in the first round of a bloody encounter.

Du Plessis eye was left in a gruesome state

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Du Plessis eye was left in a gruesome stateCredit: X @MMAFighting
The South African also hit out at White for scoring Strickland the win

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The South African also hit out at White for scoring Strickland the winCredit: X @MMAFighting

Both fighters came out swinging and by the end of the first five minutes, a welt had appeared to grow on the 30-year-old’s left eye.

By the end of the second round, the injury had started to close over his eye.

But it did little to deter the middleweight fighter, who continued to eat jabs and throw his own.

In the end, Du Plessis was crowned the new UFC Middleweight champion, ending Strickland’s reign who did not defend his title once.

It means that the Pretorian now faces a mega-bucks clash against Israel Adesanya and Khamzat Chimaev while he will push the UFC to hold the contest in his home country.

Strickland, meanwhile, might hope that he can claim a rematch to try win back his belt after such a close contest.



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