Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis

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The first Middleweight title defense for Sean Strickland will come in the main event of UFC 297, which will be held in Toronto on Saturday, January 20th.

There was some talk that Strickland would be making his first defense against Khamzat Chimaev, though the UFC elected to go in another direction.

Du Plessis has put together a very impressive string of victories in the UFC, including wins over Robert Whittaker, Derek Brunson and Darren Till.

There is no doubt that Du Plessis deserves a title shot.

On the other hand, Strickland will be making his first title defense after defeating Israel Adesanya on short notice to win the title.


Strickland has a grinding style that opponents have had trouble with.

Strickland is a smart fighter with a nearly limitless gas tank. Strickland will wear you down over the course of a fight, and if he isn't put out in the first few rounds, gets better as the fight goes on.

Du Plessis will likely need to do some heavy damage early to have a chance, as it's nearly impossible to get the edge on Strickland when the fight gets into the later rounds.


Strickland has opened as the early favourite - here are the current betting odds, courtesy of a major US sportsbook:

Dricus Du Plessis, 2.32
Sean Strickland, 1.61

As you can see, a successful $100 wager on Du Plessis would yield a total profit of $132, while a successful $100 bet on Strickland would return a total of $61 in profit.


A close fight, though Strickland is definitely being given the edge.

Fight Details:

Date: January 20th, 2024
Event: UFC 297
Venue: Scotiabank Arena