Dricus Du Plessis discusses his upcoming title fight with Sean Strickland at UFC 297: “No way it reaches championship rounds”
Dricus Du Plessis is expecting fireworks when he challenges Sean Strickland for the middleweight title at UFC 297.
The South African is riding an 8-fight winning streak and held world titles in EFC and KSW before his arrival in the Octagon.
His last win was the most impressive, as the #2-ranked striker put away former champion Robert Whittaker in the second round at UFC 290 (see that here).
“Against Whittaker, it was such high-paced fight. In that second round I wasn’t even at fifty per cent of my cardio. I felt amazing in that fight,” said Du Plessis in an interview with MYMMANews.
“After the first round I could see Rob breathing heavy. In that second round I started going. I felt incredible. I think it’s going to shock a lot of people. The way I go at this from the very first second, like I always do. The first opportunity I get – I will finish this fight. My honest prediction? there’s no way we see the championship rounds,” he added.
Strickland pulled off one the great upsets in the history of the sport when he outpointed Israel Adesanya to take the belt at UFC 293. That was the fifth time the American had fought five full rounds in his last seven outings, but Du Plessis is quick to remind people that this is not his first rodeo either.
“I think people know it’s going to be an entertaining fight,” said the challenger.
“This fight will end with me getting my hand raised and the belt around my waist – there’s no two ways about it,” he continued, before adding,
“The first round is going to play a big role. I know it’s a five-round fight. Sean has had a lot of time in five round fights, but people forget, I was a champion in every promotion I fought, and for five, six years I only fought five rounders. That’s the only thing we’ve prepared for and ever since then I’ve never stopped preparing for five rounds.”
Strickland will defend the strap for the first time, and Du Plessis will fight for a world title in the UFC for the first time. Adesanya, the former champion, holds the #2 spot in the division, but he is set for a hiatus. ‘Stillknocks’ believes that the UFC will probably want to do Khamzat (Chimaev) next.
Who do you think wins out of Du Plessis and Strickland?
Topics:Dricus du Plessis Sean Strickland UFC UFC 297