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Sean Strickland reacts to UFC 297 loss, claims head butt caused cut that impaired vision

Sean Strickland seems to be in relatively good spirits despite losing the middleweight title in the UFC 297 main event Saturday.

In the hours following a split decision loss to Dricus Du Plessis at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Strickland (28-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC) thanked his supporters through his social media channels – but also claimed a head butt was to blame for a laceration suffered late in the fight.

“Big thanks to everyone who supported me!!!!!!!!!” Strickland wrote on Instagram. “Took a headbutt that split open my eye, took a couple rounds to adjust to the blood running in my eyes…. Sucks to lose that way but this is the game! I thought I won even not being able to see out of my left eye but that’s life! Onto the next! Told you I’d bleed for you!!!!!!”

It’s not exactly clear which damage Strickland attributes to a head butt. He suffered a laceration below his left eye and one atop his head – both of which appeared on the broadcast to be the result of Du Plessis’ punching combinations.

In addition to coming up short in his first UFC title defense attempt, Strickland had a three-fight winning streak snapped. The defeat is his fourth-career by decision

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie