DDP vs. Izzy Is The ONLY Fight To Make

UFC 297 blew the roof off Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada last night (Sat., Jan., 20, 2024), which featured a Middleweight title fight that Dricus Du Plessis defeat Sean Strickland via split decision (highlights). In the co-main event another champion was crowned as Raquel Pennington defeated Mayra Bueno Silva via unanimous decision to win the vacant women’s Bantamweight title (recap here).

Winner: Dricus Du Plessis

Who He Should Face Next: Israel Adesanya

Look, there is no telling when “The Last Stylebender” will return to action, but I really don’t see him sitting out for an extended period of time, especially after he teased this last night. He took the loss to Strickland pretty hard, saying he was going to take a couple of years of, but I just don’t see that happening. Adesanya has the title fight there for the taking if he wants it. and I don’t see any reason why the promotion wouldn’t give it to him if he decided to return sooner, rather than later, especially since Jared Cannonier — the other viable option — is on the mend from an unfortunate injury. Du Plessis and Adesanya have some unfinished business to settle, so there is no better time than UFC 300 to take care of itor not.

UFC 297: Pennington v Bueno Silva

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Winner: Raquel Pennington

Who She Should Face Next: Julianna Pena

This one is not a secret. Pena is the No. 1 ranked fighter in the division and the former champion is the only option to get the next title shot. Pennington came up short in her first bid to win UFC gold way back at UFC 224 in May 2018, losing to then-champion, Amanda Nunes. Pena has been doing a lot of talking prior and after this fight took place, so now “Rocky” has the chance to silence “The Venezuelan Vixen” while scoring her first-ever title defense.

UFC 297: Magny v Malott

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Winner: Neil Magny

Who He Should Face Next: Rafael dos Anjos

Magny pulled off a great come-from-behind win over Mike Malott, stopping him via technical knockout (TKO) in the third and final round after losing the first two. It was a great bounce back victory after suffering a loss to Ian Machado Garry in his previous bout. It’s hard to pair Magny up with a Top 10 fighter at the moment despite his win, and Malott wasn’t even ranked. Also, Magny has pretty much fought anyone who is anyone in the 170-pound division. For now, a fight that could be a possibility is a rematch against Rafael dos Anjos. “RDA” defeated Magny way back in 2017 via first-round arm-triangle choke. Dos Anjos is coming off a loss at the hands of Vicente Luque, so this would be a good chance for him to get back in the win column against a familiar foe, while Magny has a chance to get some revenge.

UFC 297: Curtis v Barriault

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Winner: Chris Curtis

Who He Should Face Next: Anthony Hernandez (late replacement)

Curtis got back into the win column with a razor-thin split decision win over Marc-André Barriault, his first victory in over a year. During the UFC 297 telecast it was revealed that Ikram Aliskerov was forced out of his scheduled fight against Hernandez, which was set to go down at UFC 298 on Feb. 17. If Curtis feels up to it, why not make a quick turnaround? Curtis and Hernandez were set to face off against one another in Sept. 2023 before the fight was scrapped due to a late injury suffered by Curtis.

UFC 297: Strickland v Du Plessis

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Winner: Movsar Evloev

Who He Should Face Next: Ortega vs Rodriguez winner

While all the talk is about the upcoming Featherweight title fight between division king, Alexander Volkanovski, and top contender, Ilia Topuria, which is set to go down next month at UFC 298, a contender is rising to the top of the pecking order in Evloev. The scrappy Russian continued his ascension with a nice win over Arnold Allen, upping his undefeated record to 18-0, which includes winning his first eight fights inside the Octagon. He should expect a huge bump in the rankings, possibly into the Top 5. I would love to see Evloev face off against the winner of the upcoming rematch between Yair Rodriguez and Brian Ortega, which is set to go down on Feb. 24, 2024.

For complete UFC 297: “Strickland vs. Du Plessis” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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