Explosive Buildup and Unscripted Drama Unfold at UFC 297 Press Conference
In the aftermath of a boisterous UFC 297 press conference in Toronto, tensions reached a boiling point as Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis squared off, overshadowed by an audacious fan’s attempt to shake hands with Strickland. Despite the promise of a potentially lethal confrontation made by Strickland earlier, the situation did not escalate to violence, despite a previous stabbing threat.
Scheduled to unfold at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto and broadcasted on ESPN+ pay-per-view, UFC 297’s headline bout features the intense showdown between Strickland and du Plessis, capturing the audience’s attention during the press conference. The co-main event promises a gripping women’s bantamweight title fight between Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva, competing for the coveted vacant belt.
Amidst the verbal jousting and fiery exchanges, Pennington and Bueno Silva engaged in a spirited war of words, with Silva branding Pennington as a dull fighter, prompting a fiery response from the latter. The media’s attempts to pose questions were drowned out by the enthusiastic audience, thoroughly captivated by the verbal fireworks, with one fan even taking the spotlight by joining the middleweight champ onstage. UFC 297 appears to be shaping up as an event filled with unpredictability, both inside and outside the octagon.
Strickland vs. Du Plessis – A Surprisingly Respectful Buildup
During UFC 297 fight week, the anticipated tension between Sean Strickland (28-5 MMA, 15-5 UFC) and Dricus Du Plessis (20-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) was surprisingly subdued compared to their previous heated exchanges. In a departure from their earlier confrontations, the pre-fight press conference on Thursday showcased a more respectful demeanor as the fighters came face-to-face.
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With the countdown ticking towards Saturday’s event at Scotiabank Arena, the main card set to air on pay-per-view after prelims on ESPNews and ESPN+, both Strickland, holding the No. 1 spot in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie middleweight rankings, and Du Plessis, ranked No. 4, are gearing up for a high-stakes showdown. Strickland, fresh off a title-winning upset against Israel Adesanya in September, aims to secure his first title defense. Meanwhile, Du Plessis looks to maintain his undefeated UFC record and add championship gold to his impressive resume.