Sean Strickland’s Coach Erick Nicksick Breaks Down Strickland’s Loss Vs Dricus Du Plessis At UFC 297

Sean Strickland’s coach, Erick Nicksick, is considered one of the best coaches in MMA.

Last week, Strickland suffered a close split decision loss to Dricus Du Plessis.
This week, Nicksick went on the Anik and Florian podcast and discussed why he felt Strickland came up short against Du Plessis.

“Those close fights hurt me the most because that means we left some crumbs behind. We didn’t win the optic battle, we didn’t do little things we could have done to sway the judges, and that falls on me as a coach. That is a tough pill to swallow at times because it’s a world title and I know how hard that are to come by,”

According to Nicksick, he felt Strickland lost the optics battle with judges when his fighter stopped throwing kicks after round two.

“I felt pretty good about (rounds) 1 and 2. After round 1, we fought the round perfectly, after round 2, we got away from the one thing I wanted most in the fight was our teep (kick), we got away from it. I jumped on him after round 2. The teep works differently for every opponent, it served a different purpose against Izzy, but for this fight, was very important for us to flatten the tires, knocking the wind out of the body, flatten the tires, that was one,

“Number two, it kept distance management, it didn’t allow him to run forward with those different combinations, you stick him right to his belly and his chest and it stops it.It also gives another scoring criteria for the judges to see. Now you start adding the kicks, the optics look different, you have a two-seam fastball (the jab) and now you have a cutter (the teep kick). Both are fastballs, but both are working well. That was my thing after round 2, we have to get back to the teep and start chopping the legs more and flattening the tires”

It’s clear that the fight was close, and it’ll be interesting to see if the UFC ever rebooks Strickland to fight Du Plessis again.