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Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis UFC 297 predictions & picks

UFC 297 - Strickland v Du plessis predictions and preview

Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis

UFC 297 Odds & Main Event Info

Fight odds Strickland -117.65 at Bovada | Du Plessis -106.38 at Bovada
When Saturday, January 20 – main card from 9pm EST
Where Scotiabank Arena – Toronto
Watch Live ESPN+ PPV (US), BT Sport (UK), Main Event (AU)

The UFC 297 main event from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada, is shaping as an early Fight of the Year contender between reigning middle champ Sean Strickland and the number-two-ranked challenger Dricus Du Plessis.

Both men bring the heat inside and outside of the octagon, and the trash talk leading up to this event has been ruthless. Only when the cage door is locked will we see who can block out the pre-fight mind games and emerge with the title.

  • READ: UfC 297 Main Card Betting Preview and Top Picks

  • Sean Strickland v Dricus Du Plessis preview

    Sean Strickland


    Dricus Du Plessis

    28-5-0 MMA record 20-2-0
    32 Age 30
    6’1″ Height 6’1″
    185lbs Weight 185lbs
    76″ Reach 76″
    USA Nationality SA

    Sean Strickland (28-5-0) is the most entertaining fighter on the UFC roster. He was given little hope to secure the middleweight crown when matched with champion Israel Adesanya in September 2023, but proved the pundits wrong with a dominant, five-round performance. The 32-year-old caught Adesanya with a brutal combination in the opening minutes and never looked like losing during the remaining four rounds.

    Strickland does little in the way of training aside from heavy sparring. His gym sessions are legendary for their intensity, and the American’s face is normally covered in bruises. While most combat athletes attempt to avoid blows to the head, Strickland relishes the opportunity to trade blows with training partners of all shapes and sizes. This regimen will shorten his career but provides Strickland with a peerless set of stand-up striking skills.

    Dricus Du Plessis (20-2-0) has earned his title shot with an impressive run through the 185-pound division that includes stoppage wins over Robert Whittaker, Derek Brunson, and Darren Till. The South African fights at a frenetic pace that can prove impossible for many opponents to match. Only one of his 22 professional fights has ever lasted the distance, and the 30-year-old might be tested if this five-round bout gets beyond the third stanza.

    Du Plessis does his best work on the feet but also possesses an excellent follow-up ground game. If he can knock Strickland to the canvas at any point, expect some high-level submission attempts to follow. Du Plessis strikes with tremendous power and will not be afraid to stand and trade for the duration of this contest. This may be a mistake against an athlete of Strickland’s calibre, and the challenger would be wise to pace himself in the opening exchanges rather than wade into an all-out war.

    Sean Strickland v Dricus Du Plessis betting predictions

    Despite Stickland’s superior record, the leading betting sites have this contest priced at near coin-flip odds. Du Plessis has certainly earned the title shot and would make a worthy champion. The danger for the slight underdog is that he attacks Strickland’s strengths and enters a boxing-style fight against a skilled pugilist. The champion is also a better defensive fighter, and that element has swayed our decision-making process. We are therefore tipping Strickland to retain his middleweight belt before the final bell is rung.

    Sean Strickland KO


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