Gilbert Burns: Sean Strickland gave ‘heads up’ UFC 296 brawl with Dricus Du Plessis could happen

Gilbert Burns was on high alert sitting so close to Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis at UFC 296.

By now, everyone has seen the viral clip of Strickland and du Plessis brawling in the crowd at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The scene starts off with Strickland calmly asking members of the audience, including Burns’ family, to move aside so that he could have a clear path to lunge at his upcoming UFC 297 main event opponent.

Burns’ wife Bruna told MMA Fighting that her family was fine after the incident, and Gilbert recently appeared on the JAXXON podcast to reveal that Strickland had actually told him well in advance that something might go down.

“When Sean came, he came and then he kind of looked at the guy, I think he’s already like, ‘Man, s***. You brought your wife and your kids?’” Burns said. “I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Yeah, this frickin’ guy is right there. I might do stuff with this guy.’ That was before the fight, when he walked in, he already had the thing in his head: ‘If I do something, I’ll give you the heads up.’ Whenever the thing started going down, this guy kind of looked at me and said, ‘Now.’”

The chaotic scene was caught by numerous cell phone cameras and the clip spread like wildfire on social media, with the UFC even releasing its own footage of the brawl on its own channels. Strickland defends his UFC middleweight title against Du Plessis in the main event of UFC 297 on Jan. 20 in Toronto.

That in-cage clash is likely to produce more significant fireworks than their UFC 296 kerfuffle, which Burns described as being light on significant strikes.

“He asked my son and my wife to move, so he pushed the seat down where he stepped,” Burns said. “The seat kind of fell through. They hit each other a little bit. People didn’t see that side of the camera. We saw because it was right there. There was kind of a little bit back and forth, it was nothing clean. And then Dana [White] came after the fight like, ‘What happened? Anyone got hurt? Anyone need anything?’ No, nothing happened to anyone.”

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