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Champion Du Plessis Emerges Victorious in Intense UFC 297 Showdown


TORONTO — South Africa celebrated its inaugural titleholder under the UFC banner.

In a riveting, bloody, and closely contested battle at the Scotiabank Arena, Dricus Du Plessis deposed Sean Strickland in the headline event of UFC 297. The outcome, a split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) in favor of Du Plessis, could have easily swung in Strickland’s direction. Post-fight, Du Plessis passionately called for the display of the South African flag.

“This moment etches history,” Du Plessis exclaimed in his postfight dialogue.

Meanwhile, in the co-main event, Raquel Pennington seized victory over Mayra Bueno Silva to claim the vacant UFC women’s bantamweight championship. With Amanda Nunes, the division’s long-standing titleholder and arguably the supreme female MMA athlete of all time, stepping away last June, the championship remained ownerless.

Pennington navigated through numerous submission attempts from Bueno Silva en route to a unanimous decision triumph.

“It has been a challenging five-year journey to return to this pinnacle…,” reflected Pennington after her triumph. “I’ve had to surmount significant obstacles to find myself back here.”

Complete recap of Pennington-Bueno Silva

Here’s the perspective of Marc Raimondi, Brett Okamoto, Dre Waters, and Jeff Wagenheim on Saturday evening’s action:



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