Robert Whittaker weighs in on newly announced middleweight title fight between Dricus Du Plessis and Sean Strickland at UFC 297

By Susan Cox - November 9, 2023

Robert Whittaker is weighing in on the newly announced middleweight title fight between Dricus Du Plessis and Sean Strickland at UFC 297.

Robert Whittaker, Dricus Du Plessis, UFC

It was released by UFC CEO earlier this week that Dricus Du Plessis (20-2 MMA) would face current middleweight champion Sean Strickland (28-5 MMA) in the main event on Saturday, January 20th at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario.

Israel Adesanya and Dricus du Plessis

(via Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Du Plessis last fought and defeated Robert Whittaker (24-7 MMA) by TKO in July of this year at UFC 290.  Following the victory Du Plessis was offered a shot at the title with Israel Adesanya (24-3 MMA) in September at UFC 293 but couldn’t make that quick a turnaround. Hence, the promotion offered it to Sean Strickland who went on to defeat Adesanya and claim the middleweight belt.

The South African will now get his shot at the title at UFC 297.

Strickland, 32, will get his first title defense against the 29-year-old Du Plessis.

Speaking with ‘Submission Radio’, Robert Whittaker spoke about the middleweight division:

“It kind of cleared a lot of things up because the division is in a really crazy spot. There’s so many fighters that are already busy or that are inactive or that are just sitting on sidelines, and with the win/losses that we’ve had in the top five, it’s just shuffled everything up. And then you have Chimaev and Usman coming in and fighting for a title shot, allegedly, just shaking everything up.”

As for ‘Stillknocks’ getting a shot at the title, he’s all for it:

“But to hear Dricus is getting the title shot with Sean, I think it’s fair because he wasn’t in a lot of the talks for the next title shot with Sean. And where did it leave him? Where did that leave him? Props to him. He did beat me, and I think that earns something.”

Concluding Robert Whittaker said (h/t MMAJunkie):

“I guess that’s the moral of the story. The division, especially top five, and the stakes that we play at, is just rife with opportunity, and Sean is a perfect example of being ready and in the right place at the right time, and obviously having the skills to back it up.”

Are you looking forward to seeing Du Plessis vs. Strickland in the new year? Who do you think will emerge victorious?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!


Dricus du Plessis Robert Whittaker Sean Strickland UFC UFC 297