UFC & MMA Betting

UFC 297 Fight Card: Not the Best but Worth the Watch

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We all knew that Israel Adesanya was struggling mentally before his last outing but no one expected Sean Strickland to dominate him from start to finish and win the title. Now, it is time to find out if the new champion can deal with the pressure. Let's dive into the UFC 297 fight card and discuss what the first PPV of 2024 has to offer.

UFC 297 Fight Card: Everything You Need to Know

The new year in the UFC already began with a bang and the first Fight Night was an absolute treat. Can we expect the same from the first pay-per-view of the year? While the UFC fight card this weekend may not look as attractive as the usual PPV, we believe that it will not disappoint.

UFC 297 Co-Main and Main Events

• Middleweight Title: Sean Strickland (28-5-0) vs Dricus Du Plessis (20-2-0)
• Women's Bantamweight Title: Raquel Pennington (15-9-0) vs Mayra Bueno Silva (10-2-1)

Most UFC PPVs feature two title fights and this one is no different. Sean Strickland will face Dricus Du Plessis in his first title defense in the Middleweight division. The co-main event will decide the first champion of the Women's Bantamweight division after Amanda Nunes retired last year.

Strickland and Du Plessis will actually fight for the second time in a month. After all, Strickland attacked him during the UFC 296 event after someone in the promotion decided to seat them two meters apart. Some would say that this was the most interesting moment of the entire event, the best fight of the evening.

This will 100% be a bloodbath and even if you do not like the card ahead of this bout, this feud makes it a must-watch.

In the co-main event, we have an interesting matchup that is a stylistic mismatch. Experience will be on Pennington's side as she has previously fought a 5-rounder but she has also had rough periods in her career and Bueno Silva is the type of fighter that will push her to the limit. This was a mandatory fight as the 135-pound division must have a champion.

UFC 297 Main Card

• Middleweight Title: Sean Strickland (28-5-0) vs Dricus Du Plessis (20-2-0)
• Women's Bantamweight Title: Raquel Pennington (15-9-0) vs Mayra Bueno Silva (10-2-1)
• Welterweight: Neil Magny (28-12-0) vs Mike Malott (10-1-1)
• Middleweight: Chris Curtis (30-10-0) vs Marc-Andre Barriault (16-6-0)
• Featherweight: Arnold Allen (19-2-0) vs Movsar Evloev (17-0-0)

In another curious bout from the UFC 297 fight card, Neil Magny will have another shot at breaking into the Top 15 again. The veteran has been in the UFC since 2013 and has fought 31 times. While he never made it to the top, his resume includes some of the toughest names in the Welterweight division.

Once again, he will fight a tough prospect – Mike Malott, who is on a 3-win streak since joining the UFC and is considered to be one of the most promising new fighters on the roster.

In the earlier bout, Chris Curtis will defend his position in the rankings against Marc-Andre Barriault. The previous year was the worst in Curtis' career and he must be desperate to get back to the winning ways. We expect a knockout here as both fighters are unbelievable strikers.

Arnold Allen stormed through the Featherweight division, scoring 10 consecutive victories after joining the UFC. He suffered his first defeat in his only match of 2023 against Max Holloway and now has to prove that he deserves that title shot in 2024. His opponent, however, is the undefeated Movsar Evloev, who won all 7 of his UFC fights to date. If you ask us, this is the most interesting bout apart from the main event of the UFC 297 fight card.

UFC 297 Prelims and Early Prelims

Prelims:

• Bantamweight: Brad Katona (15-2-0) vs Garrett Armfield (9-3-0)
• Featherweight: Charles Jourdain (15-6-1) vs Sean Woodson (10-1-1)
• Bantamweight: Serhiy Sidey (1-0-0) vs Ramon Taveras (1-1-0)
• Women's Strawweight: Gillian Robertson (12-8-0) vs Polyana Viana (13-6-0)

Early Prelims:

• Welterweight: Yohan Lainesse (9-2-0) vs Sam Patterson (10-2-1)
• Women's Flyweight: Jasmine Jasudavicius (9-3-0) vs Priscila Cachoeira (12-5-0)
• Flyweight: Malcolm Gordon (14-7-0) vs Jimmy Flick (16-7-0)

Casual MMA fans rarely give the prelims a chance and this is their biggest mistake. The early fights are often the most thrilling ones and this card mostly includes bouts from lighter categories. This often means that we can expect action, early finishes, or at least highly competitive fights.

Multiple bouts from the prelims attracted our attention and we highly recommend giving them a chance. Brad Katona vs Garrett Armfield should be a wild clash, Gillian Robertson and Polyana Viana will try to restart their careers, and more. Tune in early and don't miss any of the action this weekend.

Vlad is a former amateur MMA fighter. After a series of injuries, he found a different way to connect with the sport and its fanbase - through writing. He's been covering everything-UFC for over 5 years on various platforms and has been part of the team at NYFights since early 2022.