UFC 297 is set to take place at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on January 20, kicking off the 2024 UFC circuit with two title fights. The main event will feature former welterweight title holder Dricus Du Plessis going up against current middleweight champion Sean Strickland for the UFC Middleweight Championship. Additionally, Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva will compete for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship.
Strickland and Du Plessis will be facing off in what is expected to be a close matchup. Both fighters are experienced, with Strickland debuting in the UFC nearly a decade ago and Du Plessis joining in 2020. Despite their physical similarities, with both being six-foot-one with similar reach, their fighting styles are quite different. Strickland has a 54% finishing rate, while Du Plessis boasts a 95% finishing rate, indicating his aggressive approach to fights. However, Strickland’s style has proven effective in disrupting opponents, making him the favorite to win.
In the women’s bantamweight title fight, Pennington is considered the underdog despite being undefeated in her last five UFC fights. However, she is a conservative, calculating fighter with an impressive track record against tough opponents. Silva, on the other hand, is aggressive and skilled on the ground, with eight of her 10 victories coming via submission. While sportsbooks may be backing Silva, there is strong belief that Pennington will secure the win and claim the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship.
The main card will also feature a matchup between Neil Magny and Mike Malott, where Malott is a heavy favorite. Magny’s history of losses and Malott’s impressive track record make the odds favorable for Malott. Additionally, Chris Curtis will take on Marc-André Barriault, with Curtis favored to win due to his impressive record in the UFC.
Lastly, Arnold Allen will face Movsar Evloev in a bout between two aspiring stars. Evloev is a considerable favorite, given his unbeaten record and strong ground game. Despite Allen’s striking abilities, Evloev’s well-rounded skillset makes him the likely victor in this matchup.
Overall, UFC 297 promises to be an electrifying event with some highly anticipated matchups, and fans are eagerly anticipating the outcome of the title fights and undercard matchups.