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UFC 297: Strickland vs. Du Plessis: Fight date, schedule, undercard & more

The UFC returns to Toronto for the first time in over five years when UFC 297 takes place there towards the end of January.

The main event is the eagerly-awaited headline middleweight championship bout between current champ Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis.

US favourite Strickland is making the first defence of his belt since he was crowned middleweight champion when beating Israel Adesanya in September.

On a busy night of bouts, there is also a women's bantamweight title showdown between number two-ranked Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva, while Polish star Jan Blachowicz, English fighter Arnold Allen and local favourites Charles Jourdain and Mike Mallot all feature on the undercard.

Here we pick out the crucial information ahead of UFC 297.

UFC 297: Strickland vs. Du Plessis date

UFC 297 is set for Saturday 20th January 2024, when Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis headline.

UFC 297: Strickland vs. Du Plessis time

The early prelims are set to get underway at 23:00 UK time on the Saturday night, the prelims are scheduled to begin around 01:00 in the early hours of Sunday morning, with the main card due to start at 03:00.

UFC 297: Strickland vs. Du Plessis venue and location

The event is being held at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and marks the promotion's seventh visit to Toronto in total and first since UFC 231 back in December 2018.

The arena has a capacity of just under 20,000 and was opened in its present form in February 1999 on the site of the former Toronto Postal Delivery Building.

It is situated in the South Core district of Downtown Toronto and is one of North America's premier indoor sport and entertainment arenas.

The facility is the home base of NBA team, the Toronto Raptors, and also houses the Toronto Maple Leafs of the NHL. 

It is also a popular destination for music concerts and other various entertainment events and political conventions. 

The list of famous pop stars who have played at the Scotiabank Arena, formerly known as Air Canada Centre, is lengthy and includes the likes of Mariah Carey, The Killers, Spice Girls, Elton John and Bruce Springsteen.

How to watch UFC 297: Strickland vs. Du Plessis 

The card will be available to watch on TNT Sports in the UK.

UFC 297: Strickland vs. Du Plessis odds

Defending champion Strickland is the 4/6 favourite for the middleweight title fight, with Dricus du Plessis available at 5/4 for victory.

Are there any belts on the line for Strickland vs. Du Plessis?

Strickland is defending his middleweight belt for the first time.

Meanwhile, the winner of the Raquel Pennington versus Mayra Bueno Silva fight will be crowned women's bantamweight champion.

Sean Strickland record

Strickland has an MMA record of 28 victories from 33 bouts, 11 of which came via knockout, and he has just five losses on his CV.

The 32-year-old made his UFC debut at UFC 171 in March 2014 when he beat Bubba McDaniel thanks to a rear-naked choke submission in the first round.

His first UFC defeat came against Santiago Ponzinibbio in February 2015 but he bounced back well to beat the likes of Alex Garcia and Tom Breese over the course of the next few years.

A motorcycle accident meant a two-year lay-off between 2018 and 2020 and his impressive rise in the sport was checked by successive defeats to Alex Pereira and Jared Cannonier in 2022 before he hit back this year with wins over Nassourdine Imavov and Abusupiyan Magomedov

Then, most recently, he defeated Adesanya via unanimous decision at UFC 293 in Sydney to take the UFC middleweight championship he now defends for the first time against #2 Du Plessis.

Dricus du Plessis record

South African Du Plessis is a two-time former EFC middleweight and former EFC welterweight champion, while his solid pedigree also sees him boast being a former KSW welterweight champion.

He has risen to number two in the UFC middleweight list thanks to six consecutive franchise victories since October 2020 and his most-recent success over Robert Whittaker in July was probably his finest performance to date when he came out on top in the middleweight title eliminator at UFC 290 in Las Vegas.

Du Plessis' overall MMA record reads 22 fights, 20 wins and two losses, with nine of his victories coming by knockout.

UFC 297: Strickland vs. Du Plessis fight card

Main Card

  • Sean Strickland v Dricus du Plessis (Middleweight)
  • Raquel Pennington v Mayra Bueno Silva (Women's Bantamweight)
  • Jan Błachowicz v Aleksandar Rakic (Light Heavyweight)
  • Arnold Allen v Movsar Evloev (Featherweight)                       
  • Charles Jourdain v Sean Woodson (Featherweight) 
  • Neil Magny v Mike Malott (Welterweight)      
  • Serhiy Sidey v Ramon Taveras (Bantamweight)                              
  • Dominick Reyes v Carlos Ulberg (Light Heavyweight)                     
  • Chris Curtis v Marc-Andre Barriault (Middleweight)  

Undercard

  • Brad Katona v Garrett Armfield (Bantamweight)                                                       
  • Gillian Robertson v Polyana Viana (Women's Strawweight)             
  • Yohan Lainesse v Sam Patterson (Welterweight)                                          
  • Malcolm Gordon v Jimmy Flick (Flyweight)

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