UFC 297 Preview

Published on 19 January 2024 at 20:00

The UFC introduces its first PPV event in 2024 as UFC 297 is hosted at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto Canada. A Middleweight Championship Bout is set for the Main Event as a rivalry has fired up in the past month between the champion, Sean Strickland, and the challenger, Dricus Du Plessis. The Co-Main Event will witness a new Queen of the Bantamweights as Raquel Pennington takes on Mayra Bueno Silva for the Women's Bantamweight title. Here is everything you need to know before this wild fight begins in Canada.



Malcolm Gordon vs Jimmy Flick (UFC Flyweight Bout) -  Gordon has not been victorious since February 2022 as he won by first-round TKO due to an arm injury from Denys Bondar at UFC Vegas 47. His last two fights have not ended well, losing by first-round TKO at UFC 286 against Jake Hadley and submitted to Muhammad Mokaev in the third round at UFC 280. A win for the Calgary-born fighter will put him back in the win column and back on track.

Flick's last triumphant fight was back in December 2020 as he won by first round submission against Cody Durden at UFC Vegas 17. After returning from retirement, Jimmy has not been lucky with his last two fights ending by knockout to opponents, Alessandro Costa and Charles Johnson. A victory could help redeem The Brick's career and and allow him to get his second win in the UFC.


Jasmine Jasudavicius vs Priscila Cachoeira (UFC Women's Flyweight Bout) - Jasudavicius almost had a perfect year in 2023 when she picked up two unanimous decision victories at UFC Vegas 70 and UFC 289. The Canadian's most recent fight at Noche UFC did not go as planned when she suffered a decision loss to Tracy Cortez. Jasmine has never been finished in her MMA career and a win could certainly boost her in the Flyweight rankings or just outside.

Cachoeira will fight in the organisation for the 10th time as she currently has four wins and five losses in the UFC. Despite getting two wins in 2022, which includes a first-round knockout victory, Priscila did not have great luck last year. Her most recent fight was at UFC 291 where she lost by submission in the third round against Miranda Maverick so a win at UFC 289 would redeem that loss and give her an opportunity to enter the rankings.


Yohan Lainesse vs Sam Patterson (UFC Welterweight Bout) - Lainesse has had three fights in the UFC with just one split decision win and two losses with each one ending by knockout and submission. 'The White Lion' lost his undefeated MMA record on his MMA debut at UFC Vegas 53 which also made it his first knockout loss of his career. Since losing to fellow Canadian fighter Mike Malott in February 2023, Yohan has had a lot of time to prepare to get back to winning ways if he does want to stay with the organisation.

Patterson had a horrible start to his UFC campaign after being knocked out in the first round by Yanal Ashmouz in front of his home-country crowd at UFC 286. Despite his unfortunate UFC debut, Sam has shown to be an excellent fighter as with 10 wins in his career, nine of his opponents have been finished whether it may be by knockout or submission. Now that he is changing from fighting at Lightweight to Welterweight, he will hope it will make a big beneficial difference in Toronto, Canada.


Preliminary Card 

Gillian Robertson vs Polyana Viana (UFC Women's Strawweight Bout) - Robertson shook things up in 2023 when she went one weight class down from her normal division, going up against the Strawweight's. She was victorious in her first bout of the year, submitting Piera Rodriguez at UFC Kansas City before losing by unanimous decision to current Strawweight contender, Tabatha Ricci, at UFC Jacksonville. 'The Savage' could put the 115-pound division on notice if she is successful in her home country.

Viana will have her 10th fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championships at UFC 297 as she looks to redeem her most recent fight when she lost by submission to Iasmin Lucindo at UFC Vegas 78. Every MMA career win that 'Dama de Ferro' has earned has been stopped either by knockout or submission with a total of 13 victories. A win could boost her up towards the Strawweight rankings and she will have a 50% UFC win ratio.


Serhiy Sidey vs Ramon Taveras (UFC Bantamweight Bout) - Sidey makes his UFC debut in Toronto after earning a contract on Dana White's Contender Series (DWCS) in September 2023. He got a first-round TKO win against the same opponent he will be facing at UFC 297, Ramon Taveras. Serhiy has never been finished in his career and with seven knockout victories out of the 10 wins he has in his career, it would not be a surprise if he adds another one on his professional record.

Taveras will also be making his UFC debut at the Scotiabank Arena after earning himself a contract with the organisation when he knocked out Cortavious Romious in 29 seconds of the first round on DWCS. Ramon had four fights in 2023, winning three of them by KO/TKO as a knockout win seems to be preferred for the Jacksonville. It would be impressive to not only win on his UFC debut but avenge his most recent loss as an act of revenge against Sidey.


Charles Jourdain vs Sean Woodson (UFC Featherweight Bout) - Jourdain had a 100% win rate in 2023 when he defeated Kron Gracie by unanimous decision at UFC 288 and Ricardo Ramos by first-round submission at UFC Vegas 79. Charles has only been stopped once in his career which was against Julian Erosa, losing by submission. With 'Air' currently on a two-fight winning streak, he will look to increase this in front of his home crowd and impress the whole MMA community.

Woodson is currently on a four-fight unbeaten streak with his most recent victory ending by unanimous decision against Dennis Buzukja at UFC Nashville. The Sniper's only loss came against the same opponent that submitted Jourdain, Julian Erosa, as Sean lost by submission in the third round. Woodson's last fight in a PPV event ended in a draw against Luis Saldana at UFC 278 so a win at UFC 297 would mean a lot to him and boost him towards the Featherweight rankings.


Brad Katona vs Garrett Armfield (UFC Bantamweight Bout) -  Katona is currently on a six-fight winning streak after being one of the winners in season 31 of The Ultimate Fighter which he claimed at UFC 292. 'Superman' has never been stopped in his career and has only lost twice in his career which occurred during his first run in the UFC. Brad has been victorious in Toronto before when he defeated Matthew Lopez by unanimous decision at UFC 231 as the same story could repeat again.

Armfield is fighting for the third time in the UFC after his most recent victory ended in delight with a first-round TKO win over Toshiomi Kazama at UFC Singapore. The Houston-born fighter did lose on his UFC debut to David Onama by submission so another loss could have possibly killed his career in the organisation. A win in Canada would not only start a winning streak for Garrett but also begin to put the Featherweight division on notice.


Main Card

Arnold Allen vs Movsar Evloev (UFC Featherweight Bout) - Allen is currently the #4 Featherweight contender and was possibly close to having a title shot last year but lost by unanimous decision to the #1 Featherweight contender, Max Holloway. Before his loss in April 2023, Allen was on a 10-fight winning streak in the UFC with two submission and TKO victories. 'Almighty' will look for success in Canada if he wants an opportunity to fight for UFC Gold as he looks to be the first fighter to defeat Movsar Evloev.

Evloev is undefeated in his MMA career with 17 wins with seven of those victories coming in the UFC and ending by decision. Despite the Russian fighter having a lot of success with decision wins, he has stopped his opponents on numerous occasions with three knockout and four submissions. Movsar is currently the #9 Featherweight contender so a win at UFC 289 would boost him up the rankings.


Chris Curtis vs Marc-Andre Barriault (UFC Middleweight Bout) - Curtis did not have great luck last year as he suffered a unanimous decision loss to Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 287 and had a fight ending in a No Contest against Nassourdine Imavov at UFC 289. The #14 Middleweight contender has shown to be an impressive knockout artist as with 30 wins in his professional MMA career, 17 of his opponents have been stopped by KO/TKO. 'Action-Man' will look to maintain his contender's spot in Toronto and look to get back to winning ways.

Barriault had a great year in 2023 when he defeated Julian Marquez by second-round TKO at UFC 285 and got a decision win over Eryk Anders in Vancouver at UFC 289. It took a while for 'Powerbar' to get respect in the organisation when he lost his first three fights in the UFC before gradually picking up a few wins. Marc-Andre has the chance of a lifetime to enter the Middleweight rankings and become victorious in his home country once again.


Neil Magny vs Mike Malott (UFC Welterweight Bout) - Magny is the current #13 Welterweight contender and will make his 32nd fight appearance in the UFC. 'The Haitian Sensation' had a very up-and-down year in 2023 with a submission loss to Gilbert Burns at UFC 283, a split decision win against Phil Rowe at UFC Jacksonville, and a unanimous decision loss against Ian Garry at UFC 292. Neil has the most decision wins in UFC history and could add another one to the record is he maintains his rank with a win at UFC 297.

Malott has been a rising star in the UFC ever since he earned a contract into the company with a 39-second win on DWCS. 'Proper' has stopped every opponent that he has defeated with four knockout wins and six submission victories. Mike is on a 100% finish rate in the UFC and will look to continue that when he faces UFC veteran, Neil Magny, as it would be a magnificent way to enter the Welterweight rankings and put all the contenders on notice.


Co-Main Event: Raquel Pennington vs Mayra Bueno Silva (UFC Women's Bantamweight Title Bout) - Pennington is the current #2 Women's Bantamweight contender and has proven to deserve a title shot after reaching a five-fight winning streak. 'Rocky' has fought for the Bantamweight title before when she headlined UFC 224 with former champion, Amanda Nunes, but lost by TKO in the fifth round. Raquel will look to claim the vacant belt and put herself on top of the Women's Bantamweight division. 

Bueno Silva is the #3 Women's Bantamweight contender and is currently on a four-fight unbeaten streak. The last fight for 'Sheetara' was overturned after failing a drug test despite defeating Holly Holm in the second round at UFC Vegas 77. Mayra has never been stopped or finished in her career. She has seven submissions victories out of the 10 wins that she has in her MMA career as she will look to stop Pennington and become the Queen of the Bantamweights.


Main Event: Sean Strickland vs Dricus Du Plessis (UFC Middleweight Title Bout) - Strickland had the best year of his life in 2023 when he not only won three fights in one year but became the UFC Middleweight Champion after defeating Israel Adesanya by unanimous decision at UFC 293.  Sean has only had five finishes in the UFC with the 15 victories he has had in the organisation. A successful title defence and a stoppage win for the Middleweight champion could really make the division understand how big of a threat he is.

Du Plessis has proven why he has deserved a shot for the Middleweight belt after becoming the #2 Middleweight contender at UFC 290 when he stopped Robert Whittaker in the second round by TKO. 'Stilknocks' is currently undefeated with six fights in the UFC as five of them have ended with a stoppage with knocking out four of his opponents and submitting one. With a 95% finish rate in his MMA career, Dricus will look to become champion, mainly by finishing the current title holder and make himself the King of the Middleweights.


Will Strickland remain champion or will Du Plessis become the new King of the Middleweights? Who will be the new UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion? 

What are your predictions?


Written by Charlie Oxtoby


Instagram: charlie_oxtoby

MMA Instagram: undisputed._.mma

Twitter: @Charlie_Oxtoby1

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