Sean Strickland rushed to Dricus Du Plessis' defense after Kamaru Usman hit back at the South African middleweight for his comments at UFC 285 media day.
Dricus Du Plessis came out and said that he and compatriot Cameron Saaiman were true African fighters in the UFC since they were born and raised in South Africa and also lived and trained there. He also stated that his aim was to become the first legitimate African champion in the company, disregarding the likes of Kamaru Usman, Israel Adesanya, and Francis Ngannou.
“Did those belts ever go to Africa? As far as I know, it came to America and New Zealand. I am going to take the belt to Africa. I am the African fighter in the UFC, myself and Cameron. We breathe the African air. We wake up in Africa every day, we train in Africa, we're African born, African raised, we still reside in Africa, we train out of Africa. That's an African champion and that's who I'll be.”
Check out Dricus Du Plessis' interview below (10:13):
In a recent tweet, Sean Strickland sided with 'Stillknocks':
"You mother f****rs aren't going to like this but I think Dricus is more of an African than the entire African UFC roster living in America. By your logic, if you're not a pasty white guy then you're not American. Mother f***er is born and lives in Africa... idiots.."
Take a look at the tweet:
Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya were born in Nigeria but relocated to the US and New Zealand, respectively, in their preteens, whereas former UFC fighter Francis Ngannou fled Cameroon at age 26 to get to France and realize his dream of becoming a professional boxer.
Usman recently warned 'Stillknocks' to think before making such statements. 'The Nigerian Nightmare' suggested that just because Du Plessis lives in Africa, it doesn't make him more African than other fighters in the UFC who were born on the continent but no longer live there.
Kamaru Usman responds to Dricus Du Plessis' "African fighter" comments
Kamaru Usman reacted to Dricus Du Plessis' comments during a press conference for UFC 286. The former welterweight champion, who is set to fight Leon Edwards this weekend in their trilogy bout in a bid to win his belt back, responded to Du Plessis' words and gave him a warning:
"The one thing he's failing to realize is just because I go to China, and my parents are in China, and I'm raised in China, that doesn't make me more Chinese than people from China. Just because you went over to South Africa and you were raised there, that doesn't make you African. Try to be a little bit more careful with what you say, and how you say it."
Kamaru Usman believes that the middleweight was just trying to connect with the audience and did not really think his words through. He asked Dricus Du Plessis to exercise caution in the future:
"These younger guys and these newer guys, they get up here and they just talk because they want to appeal to the fans and appeal to the people, but try to be more mindful because 20 years from now, that's not going to age well."
Take a look at the interview: