UFC 297 headliners Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis went at it the past weekend in Las Vegas, engaging in a brawl cageside during UFC 296 at the T-0Mobile Arena, and it all happened around Gilbert Burns’ wife and kids.
The UFC welterweight contender was watching the event alongside Bruna Burns and his children, Pedro and Joshua, supporting close friend Alexandre Pantoja ahead of his co-main event title defense against Brandon Royval, when Strickland and Du Plessis were shown on the broadcast.
The middleweight champion, who defends his title in the main event of UFC 297 on Jan. 20, jumped Du Plessis following a short verbal back and forth. Strickland signaled to Bruna and her kids to move to the side before the surprise attack.
“He was like, ‘Excuse me, excuse me,’ and I was like, ‘Alright then,’” Bruna Burns told MMA Fighting. “‘Durinho’ pulled Joshua and told me, ‘Get out of there, they’re going to fight!’ We were looking at the big screen and didn’t see anything. Jamahal [Hill] pulled me as soon as he noticed they were going to brawl.”
Du Plessis was already in attendance when the Burns family arrived at the T-Mobile Arena, and Strickland arrived later that night. Bruna said “they were fine, shook hands and everything, but there was no other interaction between them.” According to her, “[Strickland] texted ‘Durinho’ later apologizing, asking if something had happened to me and the kids.”
“Pedro was watching [the brawl] from front row,” Burns said with a laugh. “He loves it. He’s sitting there, the melee going on, and he’s watching it. Joshua was a bit scared. ‘Aren’t they going to fight already? Why is it going on already?’ I said, ‘Oh, son, he called him out to fight right there and he went for it.”
The entire family escaped unharmed. Strickland was escorted from the arena after the incident, and Du Plessis stayed for the remaining of the card.
Gilbert Burns is scheduled to re-enter the octagon on March 9, when the company returns to Miami for UFC 299, and the family will be in attendance once again. Bruna, who has competed in an amateur MMA bout when she was 18 as well as other martial arts, ruled out cornering “Durinho” one day. She will continue to shout instructions from the crowd, though, and expects a submission victory against rising prospect Jack Della Maddalena in March.