Sean Strickland’s coach shares hilarious story of how he got ‘payback’ against Dricus du Plessis for UFC title loss

Veteran coach Eric Nicksick reveals how he was able to get ‘payback’ for Sean Strickland over the UFC title fight defeat to Dricus du Plessis.

There was certainly bad blood between Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis heading into their UFC middleweight title fight earlier this year, although it’s Strickland’s coach who ultimately got the last laugh.

(L-R) Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis of South Africa are seen on stage during the UFC 297 press conference at The Elgin and Winter Garden Th...
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

How Sean Strickland’s coach got ‘payback’ against Dricus du Plessis

Speaking to The Schmo earlier this week, Sean Strickland’s head coach Eric Nicksick explained how “you’ve got to give respect to Dricus” for the way in which he’s progressed as a fighter over his last few fights.

“Because I mean, all of us didn’t really think that he was going to be even be able to get passed Robert Whittaker… He did it man and not only did he do it, [but] I think when you look at the way that Dricus has developed over the last four or five fights, he’s only got better.”

Nicksick then revealed that he’s in conversation with his student’s former opponent quite regularly and that he was able to get sweet, sweet revenge for the UFC middleweight title fight loss in a rather different type of arena… The paintball field.

“I actually talk to him quite a bit now, we were playing paintball over at [Dan] Blizerian’s one day… Headshot got him.”

“See here’s the thing with Dricus, Dricus is like a Shrek build – he’s got these big hands and he’s like hiding behind this barrier, but his hands like sticking out… I’m like ‘Bro that’s easy, that’s [obviously] Dricus’ – boom, shot him in the hand.”

The veteran coach couldn’t help but laugh as he recalled the very next round, in which the champion’s target came into view in the best possible way:

“Next time, he’s running – they just sent him running across the field like ‘Come on bro’, boom, boom, boom, headshot Dricus [three times]: So that was payback [for Sean].”

Despite getting revenge on the paintball field, Nicksick admitted that when it comes to Dricus du Plessis, he’s starting to understand why the South African remains so popular with pundits and fellow fighters:

“He’s a standup individual man, he’s a solid guy but he’s very smart when it comes to his approach to the game… You have a conversation with him, and you understand his intellect, he understands what he’s doing purpose-wise with his striking, how he’s setting things up.”

Dricus du Plessis lays out his path to becoming UFC double champion

Whilst Dricus du Plessis’ next fight in the UFC has not yet been officially confirmed, there is an expectation that his next title defense will come against former champion Israel Adesanya.

Interestingly, Nicksick stated that he believes that “when you have that kind of ideologies within your game, it’s only going to help you with a guy like Izzy because Izzy is a chess player as well.”

Yet the South African champion isn’t only looking ahead to a potential matchup against Adesanya, but also his path toward earning a shot at champ-champ status.

Speaking via The Sias du Plessis Show, ‘Stillknocks’ explained that “I believe beating Adesanya – if Khamzat beats Whittaker, beating Khamzat, that earns you a spot at light heavyweight.”

“Fighting Izzy (Adesanya), beating Izzy, one of the best middleweights to ever do it, and beating Robert Whittaker, one of the other best middleweights, that earns you that spot.”

Dricus noted that he still has “no problems defending my belt a few times before that,” having been a vocal supporter of champions cleaning out their own divisions first before making a weight class move:

“For now, my focus is 100 percent on that middleweight division and my next fight, which in all likelihood will be Israel Adesanya, and that’s where all my focus is. Obviously, that’s in the trajectory for me, but none of the other plans can come together without this.”

The consensus opinion is that du Plessis and Adesanya will go to war on the UFC 305 PPV card in Perth, Australia, set for August 18 – although that is yet to be officially confirmed.

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