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The Grand Stage: UFC 297 in Toronto

The octagon is set ablaze as UFC 297 gears up for a thrilling night of mixed martial arts at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on January 20, 2024.

The much-anticipated event sees the UFC middleweight champion, Sean Strickland, stepping into the cage for the first time since claiming the title from Israel Adesanya at UFC 293.

Strickland’s first title defense sets him against the formidable Dricus Du Plessis, the second-ranked fighter in the UFC middleweight division weighing in at 185 pounds.

Strickland’s Remarkable Journey

In a surprising turn of events, Sean Strickland entered his bout against Adesanya as a substantial underdog. Despite the odds stacked against him, Strickland secured a decision victory (49-46 x3), extending his winning streak to three.
Remarkably, Strickland boasts an 8-2 record since returning from a motorcycle accident that sidelined him for two years, showcasing resilience and determination.

Du Plessis’ Undefeated Streak

Dricus Du Plessis, the former KSW welterweight champion, remains undefeated in the UFC with an impressive 6-0 record. His most recent triumph came in July 2023, where he delivered a stunning knockout against former UFC middleweight titleholder Robert Whittaker. Du Plessis has built a reputation for securing stoppage victories, making him a formidable opponent in the cage.

Stylistic Battle: Strickland vs. Du Plessis

The clash between Strickland and Du Plessis promises an intriguing stylistic matchup. Strickland, a striker known for his high-volume approach and relentless forward pressure, faces Du Plessis, a power puncher with a high-pressure fighting style. The critical differentiator in this bout is cardio, where Strickland holds a substantial advantage over his opponent.

The Road to Victory: Strategies and Anticipation

While Strickland lacks single-strike knockout power, his exceptional cardio, relentless forward movement, and sturdy chin make him a force to be reckoned with.

Du Plessis, on the other hand, possesses one-punch knockout capability and an aggressive style. The key for Strickland lies in avoiding clean strikes from Du Plessis, a lesson learned in his defeat against Alex Pereira in June 2022.

Strickland’s cardio emerges as a crucial factor in this matchup. If he can weather the storm and extend the fight beyond the second round, Strickland’s superior conditioning is expected to give him the edge in the later rounds. Du Plessis, untested in five-round contests, faces questions about his cardio durability, potentially leaving him vulnerable as the fight progresses.

UFC 297 showcases two of the most active strikers in the middleweight division. Strickland, landing an impressive 5.82 significant strikes per minute, goes toe-to-toe with Du Plessis, the No. 1 ranked active UFC middleweight, who lands 6.95 strikes per minute.

Strickland’s striking defense, the best among active UFC middleweights at 65.4 percent, contrasts with Du Plessis’ 53 percent, highlighting a potential opening for the champion

While the focus often centers on Strickland’s offensive capabilities, his defensive prowess should not be overlooked. With a striking defensive percentage of 65.4, Strickland stands as the best in the division.

Du Plessis, with a 53 percent defense rate, may find it challenging to evade Strickland’s calculated attacks.

Odds at BetAnySports.eu

With both fighters showcasing exceptional striking skills and a willingness to engage, the showdown between Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis at UFC 297 promises to be an all-out war. As the date approaches, fans eagerly anticipate witnessing a battle between two middleweight titans, each vying for supremacy in the relentless world of mixed martial arts.

Be sure to visit BetAnySports.eu/BOS, now looking better than ever, and claim a 30% CASH bonus or 135% Free Play on your deposit to get all the UFC 297 action.

Strickland vs. Du Plessis Odds by BetAnySports

Fighter Odds
Sean Strickland -130
Dricus Du Plessis +110
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