UFC 297 Preview: Strickland vs Du Plessis Middleweight Title Clash Headlines Main Card

UFC 297 Preview: Strickland vs Du Plessis Middleweight Title Clash Headlines Main Card

Joel Reyes
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
  • Sean Strickland will defend his middleweight title vs. Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297
  • Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva square off for the vacant bantamweight title
  • Niel Magny will lock horns with Mike Malott in a welterweight battle

We are just a few weeks away from UFC 297, and excitement is building for one of the year's biggest events.

Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis will lock horns on January 20 for the UFC Middleweight Championship, while Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva face off for the vacant bantamweight title.

Here’s all you need to know about the main card fights in UFC 297.

Dricus Du Plessis, Sean Strickland, UFC, UFC 297
Opponents Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis face off during the UFC 2024 seasonal press conference at MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 15, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Image: Chris Unger.
Source: Getty Images

Sean Strickland vs. Dricus Du Plessis

The much-anticipated middleweight title showdown between reigning champion Sean Strickland and challenger Dricus Du Plessis will headline the card.

Things got heated between the two fighters at UFC 296, with Strickland jumping over a row of seats at the T-Mobile Arena to attack the South African.

Strickland snapped after Du Plessis brought up the American's child abuse during a pre-fight press conference, per MMAFighting.

Fans are now eager to see the two fighters battle it out in the Octagon to settle their feud once and for all.

Strickland will be making his first title defense since beating Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision in a massive upset at UFC 293.

He will have his work cut out against Du Plessis, who has won each of his last eight fights. He is coming off an impressive second-round TKO win over Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 last July.

Raquel Pennington vs. Mayra Bueno Silva

Raquel Pennington gets another crack at the UFC championship when she faces Mayra Bueno Silva for the vacant bantamweight title.

There's no champion in the bantamweight ranks after UFC legend Amanda Nunes decided to retire immediately after her title defense at UFC 289.

Bueno Silva has gone undefeated in her four fights since moving back up to the bantamweight division in UFC in April 2022.

Pennington, on the other hand, has won each of her last five bouts. Her last defeat came against Holly Holm in 2020.

Neil Magny vs. Mike Malott

Mike Malott will head to his clash against Neil Magny boasting a rich vein of form. He has won each of his previous six matches, including an impressive second-round submission victory over Adam Fugitt in his last fight at UFC 289.

Magny, on the other hand, is coming off a loss to Ian Machado Garry at UFC 292. Magny's MMA record dropped to 28-11 with that defeat.

Strickland admits to biting Du Plessis

Sports Brief also previously reported on Strickland admitting to biting Du Plessis during their brawl at UFC 296.

They had to be separated when they started fighting in the crowd, with the American removed from the premises.

Video footage of the scuffle went viral afterwards and Strickland ceded the South African had gotten under his skin.

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Joel Reyes
Joel Reyes is a sports editor at Sportsbrief.com with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines. He has eight years of work experience in sports writing.
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