Sean Strickland’s first UFC middleweight title defence annonuced but it’s not against Khamzat Chimaev
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Sean Strickland’s first UFC middleweight title defence annonuced but it’s not against Khamzat Chimaev

Nov 8, 2023

Sean Strickland will headline the opening pay-per-view in 2024 when he faces off against Dricus Du Plessis.

The UFC middleweight champion dominated Israel Adesanya in September to claim the title in front of a packed crown in Sydney, Australia.

Strickland dethroned Adesanya in September to claim the middleweight title

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Strickland dethroned Adesanya in September to claim the middleweight titleCredit: Getty
Du Plessis is first in line for shot at Strickland's title

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Du Plessis is first in line for shot at Strickland’s titleCredit: Getty
Chimaev will be an interested spectator when Strickland and Du Plessis face off in January

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Chimaev will be an interested spectator when Strickland and Du Plessis face off in JanuaryCredit: Getty

Strickland was widely tipped to face Khamzat Chimaev, who returned from a year layoff to beat Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 in Abu Dhabi.

However, the American will now gear up to defend his title on January 20 in Toronto, Canada, after UFC CEO Dana White announced a host of PPV main events for the early part of 2024

It is unclear whether the decision to hand Du Plessis the first shot at Strickland’s title was born out of concerns about Chimaev’s hand injury or reported issues when it comes to travelling to North America.

Du Plessis will provide a more than able opponent for Strickland after securing top contender status at UFC 290 in July.

The South African caused a huge shock when he knocked out former champion Robert Whittaker in round two at the International Fight Week in Las Vegas.

The fight marks the second title fight to be confirmed for the event, with a co-main event between Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva for the vacant bantamweight championship also billed.

Also announced for 2024 are the blockbuster fights between Alexander Volkanovski and Ilia Topuria for the featherweight title in February while Sean O’Malley defends his bantamweight belt against Marlon Vera in March.

The UFC are yet to clarify the timings and locations of the featherweight and bantamweight fights.

Sean Strickland’s chaotic UFC title reign continues as he chases man with flamethrower days after breaking new belt


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