Israel Adesanya predicts unexpected finish to UFC 297 title bout between Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis

Sean Strickland and Dricus Du Plessis are set to headline UFC 297, marking the first PPV event of 2024, at the Scotiabank Arena in Vancouver, Canada. Weeks before their scheduled title fight, the pair engaged in altercations, with Strickland attacking Du Plessis in the audience during UFC 296.

Both fighters share a history with the former long-reigning champion, Israel Adesanya, also known as The Last Stylebender. Du Plessis was initially slated to face Adesanya at UFC 293, only to be replaced by Sean Strickland when the South African aggravated his foot injury.

Israel Adesanya pick Du Plessis to beat Strickland

On his YouTube channel, FreeStylebender, Israel Adesanya previewed the main card fights for UFC 297. Having previously fought Sean Strickland, Izzy shared insights on how the matchup between Strickland and Du Plessis might unfold. Surprising many, Adesanya predicted that DDP would submit Strickland, potentially making him the first South African UFC champion in history.

“I’m going to go with Dricus. Does it go to distance? I’m going to say no. Not that I don’t respect Sean’s skills. Guy beat me, so I, of course, respect the skills…I say sub, submit,” said Adesanya on his YouTube show. One of the main reasons for Adesanya’s prediction of Du Plessis is due to Strickland’s squared stance which invites takedown from opponents.

Du Plessis easily executed a takedown on Robert Whittaker, a feat even Olympic Silver medalist Yoel Romero could not achieve in their two-fight series. Adesanya’s encounter with Strickland remained predominantly striking throughout their five-round fight.

The Last Stylebender is expected to be cageside for the upcoming event, as revealed by his lawyer during his drunken driving trial in an Auckland court. The winner of the Du Plessis vs. Strickland bout may very likely face Adesanya next or the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev. Borz was promised a title shot by Dana White at UFC 294 where he defeated Kamaru Usman by majority decision.

When will Israel Adesanya return to UFC?

Israel Adesanya was on a self-imposed hiatus after his upset loss to Sean Strickland at UFC 293. The Nigerian-born Kiwi fighter has been a promotional workhorse as he headlined PPVs after PPVs during his middleweight title reign. However, he rescinded his original plans to return by 2027 and revealed his intention to fight sooner rather than later.

It was initially expected that he would be fighting either Alex Pereira, Khamzat Chimaev, or the winner of Du Plessis vs Strickland at UFC 300. Unfortunately, an injury he suffered has pushed back his return date as revealed by his manager Tim Simpson.

The PPV set for May is still not discussed and it may provide an ideal comeback timeframe for Israel Adesanya as he revealed that he will begin training camp by the end of February. He has recently gone back to City Kickboxing and had a hilarious interaction with head coach Eugene Bareman.

As one of the sport’s biggest superstars, Adesanya is expected to headline a PPV or co-headline a Conor McGregor PPV. If he does not headline the PPV in May, there is a high chance that he will be in the co-main event of Conor McGregor versus Michael Chandler in a non-title bout.

Do you think Israel Adesanya can become UFC champion again? Leave your prediction below!


587 articles

A free spirited human being with a passion for combat sports.


Leave a Comment