Pros react after Dricus Du Plessis dethrones Sean Strickland at UFC 297

By Chris Taylor - January 20, 2024

Tonight’s UFC 297 event was headlined by a middleweight title fight featuring Dricus Du Plessis challenging Sean Strickland.

Dricus Du Plessis, Sean Strickland, UFC, UFC 297, Pros react

Du Plessis (21-2 MMA) was entering his first career UFC title bout sporting an eight-fight winning streak, his most recent being a second round TKO victory over former champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 in July. The South African had earned finishes in 19 of his 20 career wins prior to tonight’s headliner and was confident he w0uld do the same when he collided with ‘Tarzan’ this evening.

Meanwhile, Sean Strickland (28-6 MMA) had captured the promotion’s middleweight world title at September’s UFC 293 event, this after scoring a lopsided unanimous decision victory over Israel Adesanya. That win had marked ‘Tarzan’s’ third in a row, as he had previously scored victories over Abusupiyan Magomedov and Nassourdine Imavov respectively.

Tonight’s UFC 297 main event proved to be an epic back and forth affair. Sean Strickland had a great opening round, busting up the left eye of the challenger with a flurry of jabs. However, Dricus Du Plessis was able to turn the tide in rounds two and three, using his pace and forward pressure to get a slight edge on the American. After a highly productive fourth round, most fans and analysts had the fight either 3-1 for Du Plessis or all tied up at 2-2 headed into the fifth and final round. Although ‘Tarzan’ seemingly got the better of the South African in Round 5, it did not prove to be enough to retain the middleweight championship.

Official UFC 297 Results: Dricus Du Plessis def. Sean Strickland by split decision (47-48, 48-47, 48-47)

Check out how the pros reacted to ‘Strickland vs. Du Plessis’ below:

Post-fight reactions to Dricus Du Plessis defeating Sean Strickland at UFC 297:

Were you surprised by tonight’s main event outcome? Who would you like to see Dricus Du Plessis fight next following his split decision victory over Sean Strickland this evening in Toronto?