Dricus Du Plessis is set to fight Middleweight champion, Sean Strickland, on Jan, 20, 2023, at UFC 297 in Toronto, Canada. Not invited to the 185-pound title party? Top-ranked contender, Khamzat Chimaev (No. 9), who is having some serious issues traveling these days.
Chimaev was promised a title shot with a win over Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi last month, but his name reportedly didn’t come up when UFC decided to slot Strickland into the headline role for their January pay-per-view (PPV) show.
In an interview with James Lynch, Du Plessis said he believes the winner of his UFC 297 title fight will end up facing “Borz” next.
“UFC is probably going to want to do Khamzat,” he said. “He’s a big draw, and they said if he won the fight against [Kamaru] Usman he’d get a title shot. That’s a fight I would gladly accept as champion, take out the boogeyman, it would be a massive pleasure.”
Du Plessis sounded confident in his ability to handle Chimaev, who still hasn’t faced a top Middleweight fighter.
“He’d try to take me down, and he should,” he said when asked how a fight with Khamzat would go. “I don’t think [Chimaev] realizes the power difference between 170 and 185. In terms of style, he tries to out-power everybody he fights, because he wants to show how strong he is. If he fights me and he fights that way, he’s going to find out what strength really feels like.”
Du Plessis will have to get past Strickland first, the same man who shocked the mixed martial arts (MMA) world at UFC 293 when he defeated Israel Adesanya to capture the 185-pound crown. The new champ says he’s trained with past Du Plessis opponents and is confident he knows what to expect. But, Du Plessis has been spoiling his way to the top of the division, and has no plans to stop on the doorstep of a championship.
UFC 297 goes down inside Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada, and also features Raquel Pennington vs. Mayra Bueno Silva for the vacant women’s Bantamweight title.
To checkout the latest and greatest UFC 297 fight card and rumors click here.
Get the latest gear
- 2023 Panini Prizm UFC Factory Sealed Retail Blaster Box
- 2023 Panini Select UFC Factory Sealed Retail Blaster Box
- Islam Makhachev Walkout Jersey
- UFC Fanatics Single Glove Display Case
- 2022 Panini Donruss Optic Retail Blaster Box
- 2023 Donruss UFC Retail Blaster Box
- Miesha Tate UFC Authentic Plaque
- Brock Lesnar WWE Home Sweet Home Collage