Home MMA NewsLatest News Daniel Cormier’s Insight on Dricus Du Plessis: Sean Strickland Seen as Easy Target, Not a Real Challenger

Daniel Cormier’s Insight on Dricus Du Plessis: Sean Strickland Seen as Easy Target, Not a Real Challenger

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Sean Strickland UFC champion perception

Daniel Cormier has observed a trend where Sean Strickland is consistently underestimated as a champion.

In a stunning upset during 2023, Strickland claimed the UFC middleweight championship by decisively defeating Israel Adesanya over five rounds in September. The 32-year-old champion is now preparing for his first title defense on January 20 at UFC 297 against Dricus Du Plessis. However, Du Plessis is not the only one eyeing Strickland’s crown. UFC welterweight champion Leon Edwards has hinted at moving up to challenge for the middleweight title, although he later stated that this ambition is more of a long-term aspiration than an immediate plan.

Cormier points out that Edwards’ interest in moving up a weight class is indicative of a larger perception – that many see Strickland as a more accessible route to a UFC championship.

Conor McGregor first achieved the feat of holding two belts simultaneously in 2016, a feat once deemed impossible,” Cormier noted on his YouTube channel. “Since then, icons like Amanda Nunes, myself, Henry Cejudo, and others have attempted it. Now, welterweight fighters seem to think that defeating Strickland is achievable. Du Plessis’ team, in particular, views defeating Strickland as almost a given, expecting a non-competitive match. This is surprising, especially after Strickland’s impressive performance against Adesanya.”

Strickland’s ascension to the championship was one of the most unforeseen events in 2023. Transitioning from welterweight, he’s been in the UFC since 2014 but largely remained unnoticed. He started the year with consecutive losses, including a dramatic first-round knockout by Alex Pereira. However, Strickland reversed his fortunes with a 3-0 run, culminating in his championship win and being named MMA Hook’s Fighter of the Year for 2023.

Cormier believes people are stuck on Strickland’s past image and not acknowledging his remarkable transformation into a dominant champion.

“When you look at fighters like Kamaru Usman, who previously showed no interest in moving up to 185 pounds, it’s telling. The moment Strickland became champion, both Edwards and Usman expressed interest in moving up. It seems they perceive Strickland as a beatable champion, which might explain why he’s still not getting the recognition he deserves,” Cormier added.

Strickland’s opportunity to establish himself as more than a fleeting sensation comes when he faces Du Plessis in the first UFC pay-per-view event of 2024.

Du Plessis has been an unstoppable force in the UFC, achieving six straight victories, including five finishes, and most notably a second-round rout of Robert Whittaker. The South African fighter has also proven to be a provocateur, nearly coming to blows with Strickland at a pre-fight press conference in December, followed by an actual brawl between them at UFC 296.

Cormier commented on Strickland’s tendency for conflict, noting, “He’s always embroiled in controversy. With Strickland, you can’t expect him to sit calmly next to a future opponent. He’s just not that kind of fighter.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Sean Strickland UFC

Who is currently the UFC middleweight champion?

Sean Strickland holds the title of UFC middleweight champion, having won it in a surprising victory against Israel Adesanya in 2023.

What is the significance of Leon Edwards’ comments on moving up a weight class?

Leon Edwards’ interest in moving up to middleweight to challenge the winner of Strickland vs Du Plessis indicates a perception among fighters that Strickland is a more accessible champion to defeat.

How has Sean Strickland’s UFC career evolved?

Sean Strickland, a former welterweight, turned around his career in 2023 after back-to-back losses, winning three consecutive fights and claiming the UFC middleweight title.

What is Daniel Cormier’s view on fighters’ attitudes towards Sean Strickland?

Daniel Cormier observes that fighters like Leon Edwards and Kamaru Usman see Strickland as a beatable champion, which might explain why he’s still overlooked despite his title win.

What is the next major fight for Sean Strickland?

Sean Strickland is set to defend his middleweight title against Dricus Du Plessis in the first UFC pay-per-view event of 2024, marking his first title defense.

Who is Dricus Du Plessis and what is his record in the UFC?

Dricus Du Plessis is a South African UFC fighter who has been undefeated in the UFC, securing six consecutive wins with five finishes, including a notable victory over Robert Whittaker.

More about Sean Strickland UFC

  • UFC Official Rankings
  • Sean Strickland Fighter Profile
  • Dricus Du Plessis UFC Career Highlights
  • Daniel Cormier’s YouTube Channel
  • UFC 297 Event Details
  • Israel Adesanya vs Sean Strickland Fight Recap
  • Leon Edwards’ Career Overview
  • Kamaru Usman Fighter Insights
  • UFC Middleweight Division History
  • MMA Hook’s 2023 Fighter of the Year Announcement

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FightFanJoe December 29, 2023 - 2:51 am

wow, Strickland as champ, who would’ve thought? Dude’s come a long way since those losses. Du Plessis is tough but can he really handle Strickland?

GrapplingGuru December 29, 2023 - 10:15 am

Stricklands rise is just insane, didnt see that coming especially after the Pereira KO. Shows anything can happen in the octagon!

OctagonQueen December 29, 2023 - 12:21 pm

Edwards and Usman eyeing middleweight now? middleweight’s getting interesting, can’t wait for UFC 297!

MMAJunkie42 December 29, 2023 - 1:13 pm

Daniel Cormier’s always got good insights, knows the game inside out. But sometimes i think he overestimates these champs.


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