Dricus du Plessis Becomes UFC Middleweight Champion in Historic Win

In a thrilling main event at UFC 297, South Africa’s Dricus du Plessis secured a historic victory by defeating Sean Strickland to claim the UFC middleweight world championship.

Dricus Du Plessis is the new UFC middleweight champion

Dricus Du Plessis is the new UFC middleweight champion

The clash at the Scotiabank Arena in Ontario, Canada, on Sunday morning was a fierce contest that showcased the resilience and offensive variety of du Plessis.

The judges’ decision was a split one, with scores of 47-48, 48-47, and 48-47, reflecting the closely contested nature of the bout.

Du Plessis displayed relentless aggression throughout the fight, pressing forward against the champion who, despite a superb boxing display, could not withstand the challenger’s onslaught.

Strickland initially controlled the first round with his jab and effective leg kick defense, but du Plessis scored a crucial takedown.

Rounds two through four witnessed du Plessis continuing to press forward, landing takedowns and inflicting damage, including a nasty cut over Strickland’s left eye.

As the championship bout entered the fifth round, both competitors escalated their offensive efforts, resulting in a flurry of strikes.

The judges were ultimately called upon to render their decision, and when the announcement of “and new” resonated through the arena, du Plessis celebrated his triumph by embracing his coaches, team, and loved ones in the Octagon.

Speaking with UFC great Daniel Cormier after the victory, du Plessis reflected on his strategy:

What Dricus Du Plessis had to say

“I honestly thought, with the takedowns I made sure every round… I could feel it was a close fight, I definitely gave him the first round.

“I tried to get that takedown in the first to level the playing field, and I felt that he gets up really well, but I can get under him and get him down because I’m stronger.”

Addressing the skeptics who doubted his ability to go the distance in a five-round fight, du Plessis exclaimed:

“Who says this guy’s not a five-round fighter, what did I tell you?”

Dricus Du Plessis has certainly made Mzansi proud!

Dricus Du Plessis has certainly made Mzansi proud!

The co-main event featured ‘Rocky’ Raquel Pennington securing the women’s bantamweight championship via unanimous decision against Mayra Bueno Silva.

Pennington expressed her triumphant journey, stating:

“I have climbed mountains to get back here,” referring to her previous title shot against Amanda Nunes in May 2018.

Other notable results from the main card included Neil Magny stopping Mike Malott in the third round of their welterweight clash, Chris Curtis earning a split decision win over Marc-Andre Barriault in the middleweight division, and Movsar Evloev outpointing Arnold Allen in their featherweight fight.

With the UFC 297 chapter closed, the anticipation for the next event builds.

UFC Fight Night at the APEX Facility in Las Vegas on the morning of Sunday, February 4, is set to feature a middleweight showdown between Roman Dolidze and Nassourdine Imavov.

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