Dricus Du Plessis reacts to Sean Strickland’s emotional interview with Theo Von: ‘He’s a hypocrite’

Dricus Du Plessis was rather callous when reacting to Sean Strickland’s emotional breakdown with Theo Von.

UFC middleweight champion Strickland (28-5 MMA, 15-5 UFC) shed some tears when reliving his traumatic childhood experiences in a recent interview with Von. Strickland makes his first title defense against Du Plessis in the UFC 297 headliner Jan. 20.

With Strickland enduring such a rough upbringing, Du Plessis (20-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) says he shouldn’t be attacking fellow fighters in a personal matter if he can’t handle the retaliation.

“Watching a grown man cry in an interview, it’s not really my watch material that I go and watch,” Du Plessis said in an interview with MMA On Point. “But it is what it is. I’m glad he cried and he got it out. I hope that’s the end of that. I think we give him a lot more credit than he deserves in terms of mindset. I don’t think he thinks about anything. I think he goes out there and he fights – he fights the way Sean Strickland fights.

“He always has, and he’s an incredible fighter. I have a lot of respect for him as a fighter. I think he’s incredible. Do I think he’s a hypocrite? One hundred percent … 100 percent. Obviously, childhood trauma is something you can’t help, but if you know what it feels like to be the one on the receiving end of such trauma, don’t inflict it on others, because that’s exactly what he does. So yes, I feel bad for him and I don’t think any kid deserves that, ever.”

Strickland mocked Khalil Rountree in the past for crying during a post-fight news conference following his knockout win over Karl Roberson in March 2022. He also went after Ian Machado Garry’s wife and her relationship with the Irish rising star.

Du Plessis struck a nerve when he referenced Strickland being abused as a child during the 2024 Seasonal Press Conference, and UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley chimed in. Strickland thinks they crossed the line, but Du Plessis says what goes around, comes back around.

“If you go after other people, eventually they’re going to come after you,” Du Plessis said. “I think he’s used to being the bully and he’s not used to being bullied, but I don’t have to hammer on that. I already won that fight. I won that press conference. I don’t want to keep on hammering on the same thing. Yes, he cried on Theo Von’s podcast. I guess it was terrible, and like I said, no kid deserves that. No kid deserves to go through that. But if you want to dish it out, you better take it.

“I have mad respect for him as a fighter, even as a person. He’s always been a straight-up guy. Even the fact that he tried to fight me in the crowd (at UFC 296), that was him being a man. What I’m saying is, if you want to dish it out, be able to take it, man – or you’re just a hypocrite. You didn’t deserve that as a kid, but as a grown man, you dish it out, you’re going to get it. That is the way the world works, unfortunately. And like I said, with this mindset going to this fight, I think he’s going to come out and fight the way Sean Strickland fights. My mindset: I don’t care about him. I care about me, what I do, what I go out there to do – and that is become the world champion.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 297.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie