UFC 297: Dricus Du Plessis Seizes Victory in Thrilling Main Event

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In a gripping main event at UFC 297 in Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, Dricus Du Plessis claimed victory over Sean Strickland through a hard-fought split decision. Du Plessis exhibited relentless pressure throughout the five-round battle, leading to a close and intense contest. Judges scored the fight 49-48 in favor of Du Plessis, securing him the middleweight championship, while a third judge gave Strickland the nod.

Both fighters displayed immense heart, sustaining injuries during the bout. Strickland endured a severe cut near his left eye, while Du Plessis battled through significant swelling over his left eyelid. The intense clash between these middleweight stalwarts salvaged the event following a lackluster co-main event.

The heated rivalry between Du Plessis and Strickland, evident in the lead-up to the fight, gave way to post-fight respect. Strickland expressed interest in a rematch, while Du Plessis, in his post-fight speech, called out former champion Israel Adesanya. The potential matchup with Adesanya, who stepped away from the sport after losing the title to Strickland in September 2023, promises significant anticipation and excitement.

UFC 297 Main Card Results:

  • Dricus Du Plessis def. Sean Strickland: Split decision (49-48×2, 48-49) – new champion
  • Raquel Pennington def. Mayra Bueno Silva: Unanimous decision (49-46×2, 49-45) – new champion
  • Neil Magny def. Mike Malott: Third-round TKO (Punches)
  • Chris Curtis def. Marc-Andre Barriault: Split decision (30-27×2, 28-29)
  • Movsar Evloev def. Arnold Allen: Unanimous decision (29-28×3)

Additional Highlights:

  • Fight of the Night: Dricus Du Plessis vs. Sean Strickland
  • Performance of the Night: Jasmine Jasudavicius (Submission win over Priscila Cachoeira) and Gillian Robertson (Submission win over Polyana Viana)

Attendance and Bonuses:

Despite Neil Magny’s impressive comeback win not earning a bonus, the official bonuses were awarded to Du Plessis, Strickland, Jasudavicius, and Robertson. The gate reached $8 million USD, with 18,559 fans in attendance.

What’s Next:

The UFC looks forward to Roman Dolidze facing Nassourdine Imavov on Saturday, Feb. 3, at the UFC Apex in a compelling clash between Top-10 middleweights.

 

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