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UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs. Du Plessis - Odds, Predictions & Picks

Written by: Ryan Bristlon
Published January 20, 2024
6 min read
  • Strickland makes first title defense since upsetting MW great Israel Adesanya

  • A new women’s bantamweight will finally be crowned in the co-main event

  • Canadian prospect Mike Malott will enjoy a “hometown advantage” in main card bout

UFC 297: Strickland vs. Du Plessis

The odds for this match are provided by the DraftKings Sportsbook. Click the odds below to place your bets at DraftKings.

Fighter Odds
(C) Sean Strickland -135
Dricus du Plessis +114
Fighter Odds
Raquel Pennington +142
Mayra Bueno Silva -170
Fighter Odds
Neil Magny +270
Mike Malott -340
Fighter Odds
Chris Curtis -175
Marc-Andre Barriault +145
Fighter Odds
Arnold Allen +150
Movsar Evloev -180
UFC Strickland vs Du Plessis Predictions

UFC Fight Night: Strickland vs. Du Plessis - Picks & Predictions

(C) Sean Strickland vs. Dricus du Plessis - Middleweight championship

  • Our pick: Dricus du Plessis (+114)

Raquel Pennington vs. Mayra Bueno Silva - Vacant Women’s Bantamweight championship

  • Our pick: Raquel Pennington (+142)

Neil Magny vs. Mike Malott - Welterweight division

  • Our pick: Mike Malott (-340)

Chris Curtis vs. Marc-Andre Barriault - Middleweight division

  • Our pick: Marc-Andre Barriault (+145)

Arnold Allen vs. Movsar Evloev - Featherweight division

  • Our pick: Movsar Evloev (-180)

Head over to DraftKings Sportsbook to bet on our picks and get $200 in Bonus Bets!

Sean Strickland vs. Dricus du Plessis - Middleweight Championship

Sean StricklandTALE OF THE TAPEDricus du Plessis
6 ft 1 inHeight6 ft
76 inReach76 in

Known for being one of the most active fighters on the UFC roster, Sean Strickland will be making his first middleweight title defense in this Saturday’s main event just four months after winning the belt.

Now on a three-fight winning streak, Strickland surprisingly dominated the former champion Israel Adesanya on his way to winning a unanimous decision and thus the championship.

In his first title defense, he will take on the fighter that was originally planned to take on Adesanya before Strickland was given the opportunity: Dricus du Plessis.

Du Plessis is undefeated in the UFC and has won his last eight in a row. He is coming off of an absolutely dominant performance over former champion Robert Whittaker, whom du Plessis defeated via second-round TKO at UFC 290.

He was offered the next shot at Adesanya’s title after the two had a battle of words in the octagon but the turnaround was too quick for du Plessis and Strickland stepped in.

These two fighters are almost physically identical as they share the same reach and have only one inch of height and two years of age separating them. However, Strickland does carry more experience into the cage, which the oddsmakers seem to be leaning into as the champion is listed as the -135 favorite to win.

To find out how to place your bets for this middleweight championship main event, check out our ultimate UFC betting guide to get started.

Raquel Pennington vs. Mayra Bueno Silva - Women’s Bantamweight Championship

Raquel PenningtonTALE OF THE TAPEMayra Bueno Silva
5 ft 7 inHeight5 ft 7 in
67.5 inReach66.5 in
15-8Record10-2-1, 1 no-contest

Vacant since June 10, 2023, when Amanda Nunes retired following her win at UFC 289, the women’s bantamweight title will finally have a new holder as former title challenger Raquel Pennington will take on number-three-ranked Mayra Bueno Silva in the co-main event.

Silva had won her last four fights in a row, but that fourth fight - a submission win over Holly Holm - was overturned to a no-contest after Silva tested positive for a banned substance. Regardless of this, she will get her opportunity at bantamweight gold this Saturday.

Raquel Pennington fought for the gold once before in a losing effort against Amanda Nunes at UFC 224 back in 2018. She is currently on a five-fight winning streak and is the number-two ranked bantamweight in the UFC.

There is only a one-inch reach difference between these two women, in favor of Pennington. But despite her winning streak, Pennington will enter this weekend’s co-main event as a +142 underdog a DraftKings.

Neil Magny vs. Mike Malott - Welterweight Division

Neil MagnyTALE OF THE TAPEMike Malott
6 ft 3 inHeight6 ft 1 in
80 inReach73 in

UFC veteran Neil Magny will have his hands full this Saturday when he takes on Ontario, Canada native Mike Malott. Malott has won his last six fights in a row and has finished all three of his UFC fights (and one on the Contender Series) within the first two rounds.

Malott most recently defeated Adam Fugitt by second-round submission at UFC 289, earning him a performance of the night bonus.

Magny himself has had mixed success over the past few years as he continues to struggle to get a big win over a top-ten contender. However, he can still hold his own against prospects like Malott.

3-3 in his last six fights, Magny most recently dropped a decision to number-ten-ranked Ian Garry at UFC 292 last August.

Although listed at +270 at DraftKings, Magny will still be looking to take advantage of his two-inch height and seven-inch reach advantages.

Chris Curtis vs. Marc-Andre Barriault - Middleweight Division

Chris CurtisTALE OF THE TAPEMarc-Andre Barriault
5 ft 10 inHeight6 ft 1 in
75 inReach73 in
30-10, 1 no-contestRecord16-6, 1 no-contest

Long-time training partner of UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland, Chris Curtis hasn’t seen the success he’s used to in recent years.

Curtis was 2-2 heading into his most recent bout against Nassourdine Imavov, but that bout ended as a no-contest after an accidental clash of heads rendered Curtis unable to continue.

His opponent will be Marc-Andre Barriault, another Canadian on this Toronto card. Barriault is 3-2 in his last five fights but has won his most recent two bouts back-to-back. After earning a TKO over Julian Marquez last March, Barriault made a quick turnaround to defeat Eryk Anders by decision the following June.

Barriault will be the taller man in this bout but Curtis will have a two-inch reach advantage. The training partner of a champion, Curtis is listed as the -175 favorite.

Arnold Allen vs. Movsar Evloev - Featherweight Division

Arnold AllenTALE OF THE TAPEMovsar Evloev
5 ft 9 inHeight5 ft 8 in
70 inReach72.5 in

Number-four-ranked featherweight Arnold Allen will give number-nine-ranked Movsar Evloev his chance to climb the rankings as Allen looks to test his own mettle against the undefeated Russian fighter.

Allen recently had a 12-fight winning streak snapped at the hands of featherweight great and former champion Max Holloway last April. He holds wins over the likes of Calvin Kattar and Dan Hooker.

Movsar Evloev is 17-0, with seven of those wins coming in the UFC. His most recent win was over Diego Lopes, whom he defeated at UFC 288 via unanimous decision last May. He also holds impressive wins over Dan Ige and Hakeem Dawodu.

One inch of height separates these two but Evloev will have a more substantial 2.5-inch reach advantage and is listed at -180 to win at DraftKings.

How to Watch UFC 297: Strickland vs. Du Plessis

  • LOCATION: Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario

  • WHEN: Saturday, January 20

  • TIME: 10:00 PM EST

  • HOW: UFC Fight Pass, PPV, ESPN+, Sportsnet+

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Ryan Bristlon

Sports Betting Analyst

Betting Picks
Ryan Bristlon is a Canadian writer currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied print and broadcast journalism at Humber College and has been a lifelong fan of hockey, the NHL in general, and UFC.
Nationality: Canadian
Education: Print and Broadcast Journalism
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