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Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis Preview & Picks – Strickland To Retain At UFC 297

leigh-copson
17 Jan 2024
leigh-copson
Leigh Copson 17 Jan 2024
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  • Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis picks for Saturday, January 20
  • UFC 297 is taking place at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada
  • Preview, predictions, stats & form
    Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis Preview & Picks
  • Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis Preview & Picks
  • Sean Strickland Form
  • Dricus Du Plessis Form

Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis Preview & Picks

Sean Strickland is tipped to retain the middleweight title by decision.

Strickland shocked the world as he was able to outstrike Israel Adesanya to win the title last year.

I expect to see another calculated and accurate striking display that sees him outpoint Dricus Du Plessis.

  • Sean Strickland has won 9 of his last 11 fights
  • 6 of Strickland’s last 8 fights have gone the distance
  • Sean Strickland has a 63% striking defense (Du Plessis 53%)
  • Sean Strickland has an 84% takedown defense

Sean Strickland Form

Sean Strickland is the current UFC middleweight champion with a record of 28-5 (11 KOs, 4 Subs).

Strickland first debuted in the UFC back in March 2014 and went 6-3 in his first nine fights, before enjoying his best run of form between October 2018 and February 2022.

He won six straight fights, starting with a second-round TKO victory over Nordine Taleb.

‘Tarzan’ then went on to win four of his next five fights by decision, out-pointing Jack Marshman, Krzysztof Jotko, Uriah Hall and Jack Hermansson.

Strickland’s sole stoppage win during that run was a second-round knockout of Brendan Allen in November 2020.

His momentum stalled in 2022 as he was knocked out by Alex Pereira and dropped a decision to Jared Cannonier, but he came storming back with a vengeance in 2023.

The 32-year-old American started the year by beating Nassourdine Imavov on points, and backed that up with a second-round knockout of Abusupiyan Magomedov.

That earned Strickland a crack at the middleweight title last September, and he shocked the world by beating Israel Adesanya on points.

Dricus Du Plessis Form

Dricus Du Plessis is the #2 ranked middleweight contender with a record of 20-2 (9 KOs, 10 Subs).

Du Plessis debuted in the UFC in October 2020, having gone 14-2 on the European scene, and he made an immediate splash.

‘DDP’ marked his debut with a first-round knockout of Markus Perez, and in his sophomore outing he took out Trevin Giles with strikes in the second round.

He then earned a decision win over Brad Tavares, before ending 2022 with his biggest win up to that point, submitting Darren Till in the third round.

The 30-year-old South African’s stock then continued to grow in 2023 as he won both of his outings against notable opponents.

Du Plessis started the year with a second-round TKO victory over Derek Brunson, earning him a title eliminator fight that summer.

‘DDP’ was paired with former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, and he was able to take him out with strikes in the second round.

Verdict

Sean Strickland took his game to another level in his win over Israel Adesanya.

What he did to arguably the greatest striker in the sport was sensational, so we expect him to outperform Dricus Du Plessis in the stand-up to earn a points win.

Best Bet1: Sean Strickland Winner @-125.00 at Stake.us - 4 Units
Best Bet2: Strickland by Decision Method Of Victory @350.00 at Stake.us - 2 Units
Sean Strickland
Winner
@-125.00 - 4 Units
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Strickland by Decision
Method Of Victory
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Bet at Stake.us