March 3, 2024

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Dricus Du Plessis wins by split decision over Sean Strickland to capture the middleweight title

Dricus Du Plessis wins by split decision over Sean Strickland to capture the middleweight title

Dricus Du Plessis did enough to beat Sean Strickland via split decision on Saturday night to capture the middleweight title at UFC 297 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

Du Plessis pressed the action throughout the fight and rarely backed down. Strickland was effective landing punches early, but that diminished as the fight went on. As Du Plessis became more comfortable, he began to find his range, and his attacks against Strickland became more effective.

Both men were tagged, with du Plessis' left eye almost swollen shut, while Strickland, who won the title with a decision win over Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 in September, had some nasty cuts on the left side of his face.

Du Plessis, coming off a knockout of former champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 290, also mixed in some well-timed takedowns throughout. There were questions about his tank coming into the fight, but all of those were answered in the five-round contest, which du Plessis won by scores of 47-48, 48-47 and 48-47.

After the match, Du Plessis called out Adesanya, who Du Plessis had some issues with.

Main Card (start time 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+ PPV)

• Middleweight Championship: Dricus du Plessis defeats Sean Strickland by unanimous decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)
• Women’s Bantamweight Championship: Raquel Pennington defeats Mayra Bueno Silva by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-45)
• Welterweight: Neil Magny (+310) defeats Mike Malott by TKO at 4:45 of the third round.
• Middleweight: Chris Curtis defeats Marc-Andre Barriault by split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)
• Featherweight: Movsar Ivlov defeats Arnold Allen by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

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Prelims (start time 8 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
• Bantamweight: Garrett Armfield defeated Brad Katona by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Featherweight: Sean Woodson defeats Charles Jordan by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
• Bantamweight: Ramon Tavares defeats Serhiy Sidi by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
• Women's strawweight: Gillian Robertson defeated Pollyanna Viana via TKO at 3:12 of round two.

Early prelims (start time 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+)
• Welterweight: Sam Patterson defeated Johan Lainis via rear-naked choke at 2:03 of round one
• Women's Flyweight: Jasmine Gasodavicius defeats Priscilla Cachoeira via Darcy choke at 4:21 of round three.
• Flyweight: Jimmy Fleck defeats Malcolm Gordon with an arm triangle at 1:17 of the second round.

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