UFC 297 Aftermath: Do we have a UFC 300 main event now?

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UFC 297 has just wrapped up and we have a new UFC Middleweight champion of the world – Dricus Du Plessis. After an exciting, razor-close title fight – judges deemed Du Plessis the victor via split decision. With this, “Still Knocks” becomes the 4th holder of the middleweight championship since November of 2022 (just a little over a year).

Situation at the top of this division is very interesting and there are a couple of high-profile matchups that are as clear as day for UFC to make. DDP, Strickland, Adesanya, Chimaev – these are the names, but what is the best combination? Let’s look into it and solve the middleweight puzzle.

Dricus Du Plessis vs Israel Adesanya is a no brainer for UFC 300

The war of words and beef between the former champ and the current one bring out one of the hottest standing rivalries inside the UFC. Du Plessis infamously struck a major nerve with former Welterweight and Middleweight champs – Kamaru Usman and Israel Adesanya, when he declared his opinions on being the African fighting in the UFC.

DDP stated: “Did those belts ever go to Africa? As far as I know, they came to America and New Zealand. I’m going to take a belt to Africa. I’m the African fighting in the UFC. Myself and Cameron [Saaiman], we breathe African air. We wake up in Africa every day. We train in Africa, we’re Africa born, we’re Africa raised, we still reside in Africa, we train out of Africa. That’s an African champion, and that’s who I’ll be.”

After Stylebender’s huge outrage, Dricus doubled down on what he said. Stating that he has never called Izzy and Kamaru ‘non-Africans’ and that he never said he was more African than them but simply told facts about being an African resident, unlike the former two.

This fight has PPV, numbers and money written all over it, as Adesanya is one of the biggest stars in the UFC currently and one of the greatest, most active champions the sport has seen. DDP is now the champ, he doesn’t shy away from blowing his own trumpet and certainly brings a lot of audience because of that and his thrilling style of fighting. UFC 300 is slowly approaching and Dana White said at the post-fight presser that he’ll soon announce its main event.

Throughout the years, we’ve witnessed the fact that bad blood, grudge-filled matchups are the most watched and high-profile fights the UFC can put on. Masvidal vs Covington, Khabib vs McGregor, McGregor vs Aldo, Lesnar vs Mir 2 – those are some of the best examples. The story of this match is no different.

Sean Strickland vs Khamzat Chimaev as the clear number 1 contender fight

Given the fact that ‘Tarzan’ lost such a close decision, with many people thinking he won – it’s safe to say that he is still heavily in the title picture. The other guy (Khamzat Chimaev) is one of the scariest prospects we’ve ever seen inside the Octagon and is slowly approaching title contention at 185 lbs.

Strickland and Chimaev have history together, when Chimaev came to Xtreme Couture in 2022, along with Darren Till to train with Sean and at that talent stacked gym. According to Chimaev, Strickland was ‘no problem’ for him, citing that he choked out, outwrestled and beat the guy up.

If these two matchups get announced, two storylines would get a definitive end and we would have gotten the perfect matchmaking for middleweights.

DDP vs Stylebender – Dana White, Joe Rogan are foreshadowing this matchup?

After UFC 297 ended, Dana White talked to media members at the post-fight press conference. When asked about the potential of DDP and Adesanya headlining 300, Dana said: “I’ll have UFC 300’s main event for you soon. Next week!”

Also, Joe Rogan recently had a Fight Companion episode on his JRE podcast, where he was asked by Eddie Bravo about UFC 300 and he said that it is not yet finished, while claiming he knows “something” about the main event for that card, but (of course) he can’t say anything, yet.

With Ariel Helwani speaking on the recent episode of the MMA Hour – we know that Dana and co. are trying to make 300 as special as it can be. Helwani said that UFC has a “rabbit in their hat” and they are trying to pull some stuff off, in order for the monumental event to be a real juggernaut and a one to remember. We still have multiple matchups to be announced for this card and we should definitely expect at least one more title fight!

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