Dricus Du Plessis just defeated Sean Strickland via split decision to become the NEW UFC Middleweight Champion of the world at UFC 297!
It was a great main event, and honestly so close I really think it could've gone either way - but we now have a path to Israel Adesanya vs Dricus Du Plessis for the title....
....which the UFC has to LOOOOVEEEEE.
Personally, I scored the fight 48-47 Strickland, giving him Rounds 1/3/5 - but have no issue with a 48-47 Du Plessis card. Round 3 is the deciding one in my eyes and could've gone either way - it was truly a razor thin decision.
I thought Strickland won the first because he was controlling distance really well with his jab/teep kicks, and then probably lost the second when DDP figured out how to get within his range. Du Plessis landed a takedown in the second as well, and although he didn't get much out of it, that had to work in his favor and give Sean something else to worry about. Dricus' eye started closing bad in the third round, and Strickland took advantage of his half-vision by once again jabbing his face off - kinda surprising considering you'd think Stickland hates the jab!
Like I said, though, this was likely the deciding round. I had Strickland winning, but most media members were split on this one, with a lot of them giving it to DDP. Round 4 then definitely goes to Du Plessis, as he cut the champ open badly and put "an eye for an eye" to good use - blinding Sean's left side, but Strickland went warrior mode in the final round to steal that one back.
Drake was in attendance tonight, and bet $700,000 on Strickland, which begs the question: is the Drake curse back? He certainly didn't bring Canada any extra luck tonight!
After the fight, Du Plessis called out Alex Pereira (who was in Strickland's corner) and Adesanya - but the fight with Adesanya is clearly the fight to make. Maybe in the UFC 300 main event if they're both ready.
Oh, and Raquel Pennington beat Mayra Bueno Silva in the co-main event. It was a horrible fight not worth mentioning any further.
We're going LIVE on the Spinnin Backfist MMA Show now to break down the card….