Strickland didn’t hold eye contact with du Plessis after promising a fight “to the death” with the South African challenger. But at no point was there worry about violence after du Plessis’ earlier comments drew a stabbing threat from Strickland.
UFC 297 takes place Saturday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto and airs live on ESPN+ pay-per-view. The co-main event features a women’s bantamweight title fight between Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva as they fight for the vacant belt.
Pennington and Bueno Silva got into a verbal sparring match, with Silva calling Pennington a boring fighter and Pennington firing back.
With all of the verbal fireworks – mostly from Strickland – the audience ate everything up, drowning out questions from the media as they yelled their approval. One fan got very carried away and introduced himself to the middleweight champ onstage.