Dricus Du Plessis Dethrones Sean Strickland In Razor-Close Split Decision – UFC 297 Results (Highlights)

South Africa has its first UFC Champion.

(via @ufc - X)

The UFC 297 headliner is finally here.

Strickland vs. Du Plessis

In the pay-per-view main event, UFC Middleweight Champion Sean Strickland is set to make his first title defense against Dricus Du Plessis. The stage is set inside the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Strickland, 32, captured the UFC Championship down under with an above-and-beyond performance vs. Israel Adesanya in September. Considered by many to be the 2023 ‘fighter of the year’, the outspoken American looks to begin this year off with a bang.

South Africa’s Du Plessis earned his crack at the title after he shocked the world with a beatdown of former champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 290. It did take him some time 

Round 1:

Both fighters meet in the middle of the Octagon. Strickland and Du Plessis exchange kicks. Teep kick lands for Strickland. Strickland pumps out the jab. Du Plessis throws a leg kick after eating more jabs. Du Plessis lands a kick to the body. Du Plessis partially lands a headkick. 1-2 gets through for Strickland. Strickland checks a leg kick. 

Du Plessis shoots for a takedown and gets the champ down momentarily. Strickland gets back up to his feet after a few seconds spent on the ground. Du Plessis keeps on throwing headlocks. Strickland cracks Du Plessis with a right hand and the challenger retaliates with a late combo.

CDS: 10-9 Strickland

Round 2:

Strickland works behind his jab. Du Plessis isn’t able to find success with his leg kicks which have been mostly checked by Strickland. Strickland lands a teep kick to the body of Du Plessis. Strickland’s jab continues to land. Du Plessis swings wildly but misses on his entries. 

DDP has his leg kicks blocked by Strickland. Du Plessis looks for a hail mary, loading up on his punches. Du Plessis grabs the single-leg takedown but Strickland works his way back up to his feet. Strickland and Du Plessis stay busy on the feet.

CDS: 10-9 Strickland

Round 3:

Teep kick lands for Strickland and then a jab. Du Plessis tries to find a home for his hooks. Du Plessis catches Strickland with a body kick. Strickland fires a few punches at the challenger. Du Plessis spins and lands another body kick. Du Plessis goes head-hunting with his punches. A left hook lands for Du Plessis.

Du Plessis makes sure to pour the pressure on Strickland. Du Plessis mixes it up with his strikes, with Strickland returning fire. 

CDS: 10-9 Du Plessis

Round 4:

Du Plessis and Strickland throw heat to begin the round. Du Plessis shoots for a takedown but is unsuccessful. Strickland hits DDP with a great right hand and then another. Du Plessis and Strickland continue to trade strikes on the feet. Du Plessis takes down Strickland. 

Back on his feet, Strickland is caught by brutal punches from Du Plessis. Strickland’s face is covered in blood. Du Plessis finds a beautiful takedown on the champion but is unable to keep him down for long. A 1-2 lands for Strickland before the bell.

CDS: 10-9 Du Plessis

Round 5:

Strickland’s punches connect on Du Plessis. Du Plessis throws the headkick. Strickland throws the right hand twice in a row. Du Plessis loads up big on a right hand. Strickland stuffs a takedown from Du Plessis and then another one. Strickland throws hard punches in close quarters with Du Plessis. Du Plessis returns with shots of his own. Strickland and Du Plessis trade in the pocket. Neither man stands down. Strickland goes for a knee and then fires a right hand. The final bell sounds. 

CDS: 10-9 Strickland (total score: 48-47 Strickland)

Official result: Sean Strickland defeats Dricus Du Plessis via split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)

Check out the highlights below:

Published on January 21, 2024 at 1:52 am
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