The spotlight of UFC 297 shone brightly on the middleweight title clash between Dricus Du Plessis and Sean Strickland. Du Plessis, entering his inaugural UFC title bout with an impressive eight-fight winning streak, had showcased his skills in a second-round TKO victory over former champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 in July. With 19 finishes in his 20 career wins leading up to the headliner, the South African was confident in extending his streak against ‘Tarzan.’
On the other side, Sean Strickland, having claimed the middleweight world title at UFC 293 in September by defeating Israel Adesanya, aimed to solidify his reign. The victory over Adesanya marked Strickland’s third consecutive win, following triumphs over Abusupiyan Magomedov and Nassourdine Imavov.
The main event of UFC 297 delivered a captivating and back-and-forth battle. Strickland dominated the opening round, causing damage to the challenger’s left eye with a barrage of jabs. However, Du Plessis turned the tide in rounds two and three, utilizing his pace and forward pressure to gain a slight edge.
After a highly productive fourth round, opinions among fans and analysts varied, with most seeing the fight either 3-1 in favor of Du Plessis or tied at 2-2 entering the decisive fifth round. Despite Strickland’s apparent advantage in the final round, it wasn’t enough to retain the middleweight championship.
The official UFC 297 results declared Dricus Du Plessis the winner by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47).
The professional fighters shared their reactions to the ‘Strickland vs. Du Plessis’ showdown on social media, highlighting the intensity and anticipation surrounding the main event. Notable comments included observations on the fighters’ strategies, predictions for the outcome, and the importance of maintaining rhythm in a fight.
Post-fight reactions poured in after Dricus Du Plessis secured victory over Sean Strickland at UFC 297, with fighters expressing their opinions on the outcome. Some acknowledged the competitiveness of the bout, while others shared their thoughts on the decision.
In the aftermath of the event, the question remains: Were you surprised by the main event’s outcome, and who would you like to see Dricus Du Plessis face next following his split decision victory over Sean Strickland in Toronto?