UFC 297 Showdown: Strickland’s Reign Ended by Du Plessis in Thrilling Split Decision
Dricus Du Plessis: New UFC Champion Emerges
In an electrifying clash at UFC 297, the MMA world witnessed a seismic shift as Dricus Du Plessis dethroned Sean Strickland to become the new UFC champion. The judges’ verdict, split yet definitive, read 48-47 in favour of both warriors, tipping the scales twice for Du Plessis and once for Strickland.
Tactical Mastery and Sheer Grit
The bout showcased a masterclass in strategy and resilience. Strickland, known for his clinical approach, commenced with a barrage of jabs, setting a high-octane pace. Du Plessis, hailing from South Africa, countered mid-fight with a series of successful takedowns and explosive power punches, turning the tide in his favour.
Fight Breakdown: Battle of Wills
- Opening Gambit: Strickland’s Jab Dominance In the opening salvo, Strickland leveraged his jab to exert control, fending off Du Plessis’ leg kicks and neutralising a takedown attempt. His striking precision secured him the round, setting a strong precedent.
- Dricus Strikes Back: Power and Pressure The second round saw Du Plessis ramp up the intensity with heavy overhands and another successful takedown. Strickland’s evasive maneuvers kept him in the game, but Du Plessis’ relentless pressure swung the round in his favour.
- Third Round: Du Plessis’ Aggressive Pursuit Despite a swollen left eye, Du Plessis maintained his aggressive stance, overpowering Strickland’s defences. His striking effectiveness and aggression edged him ahead in this closely-fought round.
- Fourth Round: Strickland’s Resurgence A fresher Strickland found his rhythm, delivering impactful right hands. Despite Du Plessis’ takedown and sustained striking, Strickland’s resilience shone through, though the round still tilted towards Du Plessis.
- Final Showdown: A Clash of Titans The last round was a testament to Strickland’s determination. Despite being likely behind on points, he unleashed a series of powerful strikes, defending against takedowns and claiming the round with a gutsy display.
SOUTH AFRICA HAS A WORLD CHAMPION! 🏆
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) January 21, 2024
New Champion Crowned
As the final bell rang, it was Dricus Du Plessis who emerged victorious, scripting a new chapter in UFC history. His triumph over Sean Strickland at UFC 297, marked by a split decision, will be etched in the annals of MMA as a testament to skill, strategy, and an unyielding fighting spirit.