Du Plessis vs Strickland Is on: South African Gets Middleweight Title Shot at UFC 297 in Toronto

Du Plessis vs Strickland Is on: South African Gets Middleweight Title Shot at UFC 297 in Toronto

Joel Reyes
November 7, 2023 at 9:56 AM
  • Dricus Du Plessis will square off against Sean Strickland for the UFC middleweight title
  • The two MMA fighters will lock horns at UFC 297 in Toronto, Canada, next year
  • Du Plessis has recovered from a foot injury that prevented him from fighting Adesanya

History beckons for Dricus Du Plessis.

UFC CEO Dana White announced on Monday that Sean Strickland will defend his UFC Middleweight Championship against the South African fighter at UFC 297.

The much-anticipated title fight will be held in Toronto, Canada, on January 20.

Sean Strickland, Dricus Du Plessis, UFC 297, Israel Adesanya
Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis. Images: Chris Unger.
Source: Getty Images

Du Plessis gets title shot

Strickland will be making his first title defence of the middleweight belt he won last September, per Eurosport.

He defeated Israel Adesanya via unanimous decision in a stunning upset at UFC 293 to become the sport’s new middleweight king.

An immediate rematch between Adesanya and Strickland was expected to take place, but the ‘Last Stylebender’ opted to take an indefinite break from MMA competition.

Adesanya’s loss is Du Plessis’ gain. The South African was scheduled to face Adesanya for the title, but a foot injury forced him to take some time off.

Du Plessis finally gets his chance against Strickland, a title shot he totally deserves, given his recent performances in the Octagon.

Du Plessis' UFC record

He knocked out former champion Robert Whittaker back in July to become the No. 1 contender in the middleweight division.

He has yet to lose in the UFC, winning all five of his fights in the promotion, per ESPN. Among his victories in the UFC are finishes over Derek Brunson and Darren Till.

He will next face Strickland, who is in the midst of a three-fight winning streak. The American holds a 28-5 MMA record.

UFC snubbed Khamzat Chimaev, who was expected to get a title shot with his victory at UFC 294. He defeated Kamaru Usman via majority decision to improve his record to 13-0.

Costa wants Chimaev fight

Sports Brief recently reported on Paulo Costa wanting to fight Chimaev next.

Costa has a score to settle with Chimaev after their UFC 294 bout was called off.

The Brazilian fighter had a staph infection on his elbow and he was not medically cleared for the fight.

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Joel Reyes
Editor- Other Sports
Israel AdesanyaWorldKamaru Usman