Caged Rage: UFC 296 Ends With Brawl Beyond the Octagon / VIDEO

The final UFC event of 2023 ended in chaos as middleweight contenders Sean Strickland and Drikus Du Plessis erupted in a brawl right in their cageside seats

by Sededin Dedovic
Caged Rage: UFC 296 Ends With Brawl Beyond the Octagon / VIDEO
© Mark Evans / Getty Images

As the roar of the crowd echoed through the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, marking the official close of the UFC season and the final MMA spectacle of 2023, a different kind of action erupted in the stands. What was supposed to be a prelude to a championship bout quickly turned into an all-out brawl between middleweight contenders Sean Strickland and Drikus Du Plessis.

Sitting cageside, the prime viewing spot reserved for those soon to step into the Octagon themselves, the tension between the American and the South African appeared to have reached breaking point. Cameras, a constant presence during UFC broadcasts, captured the moment Strickland appeared to initiate a physical confrontation, throwing the first punch in what quickly turned into chaos.

With both fighters involved in this ugly incident, security scrambled to intervene, separating the feuding duo and restoring some semblance of calm. The incident, however, cast a dark shadow over the night's main event and left the MMA world full of questions.

The UFC has faced criticism from the public before, it will be interesting how will Dana White react.

Soon an opportunity in the Octagon to solve the problem

Will there be disciplinary action? Strickland and Du Plessis are set to officially settle their differences at UFC 299 in Toronto on Jan.

20, a middleweight title fight that is already filled with anticipation. This early clash, while unnerving, undoubtedly added to the pre-fight hype. Now the question is, was this a calculated publicity stunt or a genuine display of simmering animosity? While the UFC is investigating the altercation and determining any potential sanctions, this incident is unfortunately not entirely new to the sport.

Heated rivalries and adrenaline-fuelled emotions can sometimes spill over into unpleasant manifestations of aggression. Whether fueled by genuine hostility or a well-choreographed act, the Strickland-Du Plessis saga is far from over.

The rematch in Toronto promises to be an explosive affair, both inside and outside the Octagon. Meanwhile, MMA fans can only speculate about the potential ramifications of this cage brawl and what it could mean for the upcoming title fight.

Fixed fight or not, it sends an ugly image of the already criticized UFC organization.

Sean Strickland