((WATCH>>STREAMS!)) UFC 297 Live Free Online Broadcast 20 January 2024
UFC 297 live stream: How to watch Strickland vs Du Plessis online right now, match card, start time. UFC 297, headlined by the bout between Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis airs live on Saturday, Jan.20, 2024 (1/20/24) at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario.
Two championship bouts headlines another exciting pay-per-view on Saturday night, as the Ultimate Fighting Championship heads north of the border.
The main event will see Sean Strickland put his Middleweight title on the line against Dricus Du Plessis.
Strickland comes into this fight hot off defeating Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 by unanimous decision, claiming his first championship since joining the promotion. The Anaheim native has won three consecutive bouts, and nine of his last 11. He has a career record of 28-5, with 15 wins coming by knockout or submission.
Du Plessis has been on a tear since coming to the UFC in 2020. The South African-born fighter has won each of his six fights so far, four of them coming via knockout. He earned his first title shot in the promotion after beating Robert Whittaker by TKO at UFC 290 last July. Du Plessis has a career record of 20-2, all but one of those wins have come by a finish.
The other notable fight on the main card sees Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva duke it out for the vacant Women’s Bantamweight belt.
The belt was vacated by Amanda Nunes, who retired after beating Irene Aldana at UFC 289.
Pennington has a career record of 15-8 and is coming off a split-decision victory over Ketlen Vieira. At 35, this will be just her second shot at UFC gold, losing to Nunes in 2018.
This is Bueno Silva’s first shot at a title. The Brazilian fighter has had some controversy over her tenure in the UFC, including having her win over Holly Holm last July overturned after Bueno Silva tested positive for ritalinic acid. She has a career record of 10-2-1, with seven wins coming by submission.
Here’s what you need to know:
What: UFC 297
Main Event: Sean Strickland vs. Dricus Du Plessis
When: Saturday, Jan.20, 2024
Where: Scotiabank Arena
Main Card Time: 10 p.m. ET
Prelim time: 8 p.m. ET
Live stream for main event: ESPN+
Live stream for prelims: ESPN+
When Sean Strickland went after Dricus Du Plessis last month outside the octagon during UFC 296, jumping over a row of seats to throw a series of haymakers, it would have been easy to dismiss that as a publicity stunt to promote their main event at UFC 297. Du Plessis insisted this week what happened was real.
Anybody who thinks that was fake or staged, I wasn’t informed of that because I took some real punches, Du Plessis said. More real punches will be thrown Saturday night when Strickland (28-5) makes his first middleweight title defense against Du Plessis (20-2) in Toronto.
The hostility between the two began at a news conference in December when Du Plessis referenced Strickland’s abusive relationship with his father. Strickland warned that Du Plessis had crossed a line and not to do it again, threatening violent action if he did. Both acknowledged that Strickland later sent Du Plessis a private message saying both sides should temper such talk. Du Plessis said he didn’t care what Strickland might say and took issue that he was out of line in bringing up the champion’s childhood.
That’s (Strickland) putting it out there. That’s (him) joking about it, Du Plessis said. I wasn’t joking about it. Do I think it’s good? No, I think it’s terrible what happened to him. I was completely respectful to Sean Strickland that whole press conference. Strickland has been an equal-opportunity offender leading up to this weekend, be it hurling expletive-laced insults at the LBGTQ community or women. It’s quite a different look from 2018 when a much more subdued Strickland showed up to fight in Canada.
I came from being such a piece of (trash), so whenever I got in front of the camera, you look at your peers, Strickland said. I wanted to fit that image. Any time I wore a suit, I hated it. I tried to fit that image. It’s way more freeing not trying to fit the mold of a superstar. It’s way better.
Strickland, who was born in Anaheim, California, and lives in Las Vegas, claimed his belt with an upset of Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 on Sept. 9 in Sydney. Strickland won by unanimous decision over the crowd favorite from nearby New Zealand. While putting down Du Plessis’ recent victories, saying they came against inferior competition, Strickland also expressed respect for the South African’s ability to give him a tough fight.
UFC 297 fight card
Sean Strickland (c) vs. Dricus du Plessis for the UFC middleweight title
Raquel Pennington vs. Mayra Bueno Silva for the UFC bantamweight title
Neil Magny vs. Mike Malott; Welterweights
Chris Curtis vs. Marc-Andre Barriault; Middleweights
Arnold Allen vs. Movsar Evloev; Featherweights
Brad Katona vs. Garrett Armfield; Bantamweights
Charles Jourdain vs. Sean Woodson; Featherweights
Serhiy Sidey vs. Ramon Taveras; Bantamweights
Gillian Robertson vs. Polyana Viana; Strawweights
Yohan Lainesse vs. Sam Patterson; Welterweights
Jasmine Jasudavicius vs. Priscila Cachoeira; Flyweights
Malcolm Gordon vs. Jimmy Flick; Flyweights
A kickboxer, Du Plessis won the W.A.K.O. Cadet World Championships in 2012. Turning pro in 2013, he is a former EFC welterweight and middleweight champion and won the KSW welterweight title in 2018. Joining the UFC in 2020, Du Plessis is 6-0 with the promotion, with his last contest being a TKO win against former champion Robert Whittaker in July.
Vying for a title for a long time, first, when Israel Adesanya was champion and now with Strickland, Du Plessis is ready to show the world his fight style has adapted well to the unpredictable world of mixed martial arts.
One of the UFC's most controversial fighters returns in the main event of Saturday's UFC 297 card. In that fight, Sean Strickland will make the first defense of his middleweight championship against top contender Dricus du Plessis.
Strickland has divided the MMA fanbase with controversial comments, representing a shift in the UFC's willingness to mix politics and sports. Strickland pulled off a huge upset over Israel Adesanya to win the title in a fight that only came about because du Plessis was unable to face Adesanya when offered. In du Plessis, Strickland faces another man who rose to the top of the division with an upset over an elite fighter, having stopped Robert Whittaker in his most recent outing.
There is one other championship bout set for the event, with Mayra Bueno Silva set to meet Raquel Pennington for the vacant women's bantamweight title. This is Pennington's second shot at a UFC championship, having lost to Amanda Nunes in 2018. The belt is now up for grabs after Nunes retired from active competition in 2023.
Sean Strickland arrived at his champion status via one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. He wasn’t able to finish the Last Stylebender but he did manage to put an epic beating on him, the kind that changes a man’s confidence and makes them think twice about ever being within shouting distance of their newly minted nightmare. With that finish coming so soon after the one Alex Pereira handed him, it came as no surprise when Israel Adesanya announced that it would be a long time before he came back to UFC action.
Since defeating Adesanya, Strickland has been on a lightning rod’s journey, seemingly on every influencer’s social media timeline, doing interviews here, there and everywhere, fighting in stands, and sending death threats along the way. Has he even had time to train amid his obsession with saying every dumb, incendiary, hateful piece of rhetoric he knows? That’s the $64,000 question.
Dricus Du Plessis hasn’t exactly been innocent in all of this, either. It was his choice to go for the throat when he told Sean that he would beat him so bad that it would evoke memories of his long-deceased abusive father, that he would beat Sean worse than his father had. It’s a step down into the muck and mire that resulted in a brief, physically violent exchange between them last month.
While Du Plessis has made the media rounds, he’s been much more low key than Sean. If I were to pick the one that seems more focused on the task at hand, I’d have to go with Dricus. Strickland’s emotional meter tends to run close to boiling at all times, whether that be performative or genuine. How many times have we seen the loser of a fight say they went into the fight with the wrong mindset, or they let their emotions get the best of them? Tonight we’ll find out which man was better prepared.
The controversial Strickland won the belt from Israel Adesanya in September, dropping and outpointing the Last Stylebender in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Now the American goes up against South Africa’s Du Plessis, who is riding high after a stunning TKO of former champion Robert Whittaker.
Yet Saturday’s main event will not be the first physical altercation between Strickland and Du Plessis, who brawled in the crowd at UFC 296 in December, after the challenger mocked Strickland over the alleged abuse that the champion suffered as a child.
Strickland and Dricus du Plessis both have solid pro records which combined works out at 55 fights and 48 wins between the pair. This weekend's clash also has some added spice with Strickland attacking the South African fighter Du Plessis in the middle of the crowd at UFC 296.
Strickland jumped over the seats and began throwing punches at Du Plessis before they were separated in Las Vegas. Strickland will be putting his title on the line for the first time after winning the belt from Israel Adesanya at UFC 293 in September last year.
Du Plessis is ranked as the No 2 challenger to the Middleweight title after he defeated Robert Whittaker in his last outing in July 2023. He has also beaten Derek Brunson, Darren Till and Brad Tavares making him a firm match for Strickland. Elsewhere on the card Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva will both make an attempt to claim Amanda Nunes' now-vacant women’s bantamweight title.