“Take out the boogeyman,” Dricus Du Plessis all in for Khamzat Chimaev fight after showdown with Sean Strickland for championship glory

Dricus Du Plessis eager to square off with Khamzat Chimaev; says he is immune to his overpowering stance.


“Take out the boogeyman,” Dricus Du Plessis all in for Khamzat Chimaev fight after showdown with Sean Strickland for championship glory

Sean Strickland, Dricus Du Plessis and Khamzat Chimaev (Source: IMAGO)

Dricus Du Plessis is to face middleweight champion Sean Strickland in the main event at UFC 297, in Toronto. The South African star, who holds rank #2 in global listing at UFC, is also eager to expand his reach. He firmly believes that he could face off against Khamzat Chimaev in a successful title defense, after UFC 297. Which is to say, given he presumably wins against Strickland.

Standing at, 20-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC, Du Plessis will face Sean Strickland on Jan. 20, at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Chimaev’s win over Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 in October was billed as the #1 contender’s fight; although it faced criticism. If Du Plessis gets by Strickland, he expects the undefeated Chimaev to be his next hurdle. Speaking with James Lynch on a podcast of “My MMA News” on his future aspirations and the title bout, he said:

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I think the UFC is probably going to want to do Khamzat. He’s a big draw and they said if he won the fight against Usman he would get a title shot. If that’s the fight, I would gladly as champion take out the boogeyman, it would be a massive pleasure. I think that is probably what they want to be doing and will see if it plays out that way. For now, I have one target and that target is Sean Strickland...

The South African standout had deliberately passed up on competing at UFC 293 in Sydney. He was in line for the next 185lbs title shot. That paved the way for Strickland to score a huge upset over then-titleholder Israel Adesanya. Following that, came UFC 294; where Chimaev squared off against Usman. Although the match had garnered much hype, in the lead-up, Chimaev had underperformed with complete exhaustion in the first round. Reacting to it, Du Plessis had taken to X and said:

I’ll make it look easy...

On the prospect of facing “boogeyman” Chimaev, he had compared the delicate difference of 170 and 185lbs. He noted that Chimaev tends largely to flaunt his power and take down his opponents by outpowering them. Although effective, this is a move that would not bode well against Du Plessis; or so the fighter believes.

Brendan Allen steers towards Sean Strickland winning against Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297

Speaking with MMA Junkie, fighter Brendan Allen recently did a deep dive into his future at the promotion. Riding on a five-fight win streak, Allen, at 22-5 MMA, 10-2 UFC, affirmed that he thinks UFC values him as a potent future champion. Another topic that saw some coverage was Sean Strickland vs. Dricus Du Plessis, at UFC 297. Speaking at the UFC Fight Night 232 pre-fight conference, he weighed in on a probable winner.

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Sean Strickland thinks Dricus Du Plessis will be a much tougher opponent that Khamzat Chimaev
Sean Strickland thinks Dricus Du Plessis will be a much tougher opponent that Khamzat Chimaev (Source: IMAGO, BusinessInsider, UFC))

In Toronto, Ontario, Du Plessis will headline the first pay-per-view of 2024. Although Allen labels the South African talent as the “luckiest dude I’ve ever seen in my life”, he believes Strickland is the clear winner. He commends Strickland for having more experience in the trade. Additionally, he also wishes that the fighter remain as a champion in the near future.

Conversely, Du Plessis is also eager for another fighter, though he is set for one. Recently he has said he is willing to fight Khamzat Chimaev, given he is able to defeat Strickland. Alongside this, ironically, Strickland himself has also commented on Du Plessis being the tougher opponent, than Chimaev.

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