UFC 297 Betting | Strickland vs Du Plessis Picks

UFC 297 Betting | Strickland vs Du Plessis Picks

The UFC returns to Toronto for the first numbered event of the year with UFC 297, with middleweight champion Sean Strickland defending his title for the first time in the main event against new challenger Dricus Du Plessis.

This fight has become very personal in recent weeks with several below-the-belt insults shared and the two even getting into a physical confrontation in the crowd at UFC 296 in December, so there will be plenty of bad blood on show during this bout.

We’ll take a look at the main event and provide you with our best free UFC picks to see if we can earn you some extra cash while watching an incredible fight card.

UFC 297BetOnlineBetUSMyBookie Sean Strickland-125-125-130Dricus Du Plessis+105+105+100

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UFC 297 information:

Saturday, January 20th 2024
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Middleweight championship fight (185-pound limit)
5 x 5 minute rounds
Main card starts at 22:00 ET

Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis

This is a very intriguing clash of styles between two newcomers to the championship scene in the UFC, and it has all the makings of a very fun fight to headline the card.

Champion Strickland comes into this fight on the back of three consecutive wins and nine wins in his last 11 bouts. He earned a knockout win over Nordine Taleb back in October 2018 before a motorcycle accident saw him on the shelf for two years.

He returned and went on a stunning five-fight win streak though, defeating Jack Marshman, Brendan Allen, Krzysztof Jotko, Uriah Hall and Jack Hermansson to put himself into title contention. At that point he came up against the phenomenal Alex Pereira in a title eliminator fight, with the Brazilian knocking him unconscious in the opening round.

Strickland then suffered a split decision loss to Jarred Cannonier in his next bout, but has since recovered to earn wins over Nassourdine Imavov and Abusupiyan Magomedov to earn a title fight, where he shocked the world with a dominant unanimous decision win over long-time champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 in Australia to win the title.

He has a professional record of 28-5 with 11 knockout wins and four submission victories.

Du Plessis on the other hand comes into this fight as an undefeated fighter in the organisation, with a professional record of 20-2 with nine knockouts and ten submission wins.

In fact the South African fighter is on an eight-fight win streak, with his last defeat coming in 2018 as he lost the KSW Welterweight championship to Roberto Soldic. Since then he defeated Joilton Santos and Brendan Lesar to punch his ticket to the UFC and has gone 6-0 since stepping into the organisation.

Du Plessis won his debut with a stunning first-round knockout over Markus Perez, before another stoppage win over Trevin Giles in his next outing. That was followed by a unanimous decision win over Brad Tavares, before his first submission win in the UFC with a neck crank against former welterweight title challenger Darren Till.

He then earned a TKO win over Derek Brunson before the biggest win of his career last time out saw him knockout former world champion Robert Whittaker to earn him this title shot.

Route to victory

This is bound to be a very interesting fight, because both fighters are quite similar in the way they choose to fight.

When it comes to grappling both Strickland and Du Plessis are well-versed, and Strickland has got some of the best takedown defense in the entire middleweight division. He’s also one of the best defensive strikers in the company with his “Philly Shell” defense often making it very hard for opponents to hit him clean.

The champion also loves to use his cardio as a weapon and will push forward regardless of what is coming back at him in the opposite direction, forcing whoever he is fighting to stand and trade with him or back up against the cage in boxing range.

But Du Plessis is a powerful striker himself with good cardio, and excellent wrestling which he will no doubt look to mix in to ensure that the champion is constantly thinking about what may be coming next. When it comes to power the South African has a big advantage and if he lands flush a few times he will earn the respect of Strickland, but that won’t change the way he approaches the fight.

“Stillknocks” will look to get in top position and suffocate Strickland with pressure and ground and pound while fishing for submissions, but it’s on the feet where he is the most danger and it could be a matter of which man takes a step back first.

Sean Strickland
to beat Dricus Du Plessis

125

BetOnline

Check out our review for BetOnline sports betting here.

UFC picks: Du Plessis to be crowned @ +105

Strickland has a style that makes it hard to pick him to win fights like this, but also it gives him the best chance of winning these types of fights.

Defensively he is incredibly safe and he has the wrestling skills to cause most people problems, but he simply refuses to use them in that way and instead prefers to stand and go to war with his ego.

That is likely to cost him big time in this fight, because Du Plessis is very much from the school of win by any means necessary. With his power advantage on the feet and his willingness to mix in his wrestling offensively, expect a new champion to be crowned at UFC 297.

Dricus Du Plessis
to beat Sean Strickland

+105

BetUS

Check out our review for BetUS sports betting here.

Author: Raymond Sanchez