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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

Michael Bisping: Just fighting behind jab cost Sean Strickland in UFC 297 loss to Dricus Du Plessis

Michael Bisping thinks Sean Strickland needed to diversify his offense at UFC 297.

Strickland (28-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC) lost his middleweight title to Dricus Du Plessis (21-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) by split decision in Saturday’s main event at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Strickland’s jab allowed him to dictate the pace in Round 1, but Bisping wanted to see him put together more combinations. He scored the fight for Du Plessis.

“Now for Sean Strickland, OK, he went out and he had a great fight, but he lost,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “He fought predominantly behind the jab. I spoke about this on my instant reaction. Sean has great takedown defense, great jiu-jitsu, beautiful striking, and of course the jab is one of the best in mixed martial arts.

“It’s very fast, it’s piercing, it’s accurate, and it’s powerful. Look at the face of Dricus. But, he needs to add to that. It’s not enough, and I do feel that just fighting behind the jab was kind of what got Dricus the decision. Throwing the big kicks, throwing the head kicks, the body kicks and swinging and going forward, being the aggressor.”

Strickland later complained about an inadvertent headbutt that split him open and impaired his vision. Bisping thinks Du Plessis’ forward pressure swayed the judges in his favor.

“The three D’s, that’s how you score a fight: damage, duration, dominance,” Bisping continued. “And if it’s all even, they look at other things like octagon control and the visual of Dricus going forward, swinging, throwing head kicks, and stuff like that skews the opinion.”

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

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