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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

Joe Rogan surprised judges awarded Dricus Du Plessis win over Sean Strickland at UFC 297

Joe Rogan didn’t expect Dricus Du Plessis to beat Sean Strickland when the scorecards were being read out.

Du Plessis (21-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) edged out Strickland (28-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC) to claim the middleweight title in Saturday’s UFC 297 main event at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

Strickland started out strong when he pumped out his jab to full effect. But as the fight went on, Du Plessis rallied, doing enough to sway the judges in his favor. The outcome yielded mixed reactions, and Rogan appeared to think Strickland should have won.

“Wow, interesting, very interesting,” Rogan said on his “JRE Fight Companion.” “I wonder how the people online feel about that because we’re not scoring it while we’re watching it, we’re just having fun. Were we wrong?… Listen, fourth round, he (Du Plessis) did awesome. How about him vs. Khamzat (Chimaev), UFC 300?”

All three judges agreed on the scoring of every round except the third, which was the deciding factor for Du Plessis. Rogan thinks Strickland had the stronger close to the fight.

“I definitely think (Du Plessis) won the fourth, but do you think he won the fifth? I don’t know, man,” Rogan said. “The fifth seemed like it was Sean was landing more shots.”

During the post-fight news conference, Dana White was asked about what’s next for Du Plessis, and if UFC 300 is a possibility for his first title defense. Du Plessis called out former champion Israel Adesanya, but if Adesanya isn’t ready, Rogan wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch between Du Plessis and Strickland.

“Why not? If Adesanya can’t make it, listen, that’s a good fight,” Rogan said. “A rematch? That’s a good fight. That’s a very quick turnaround for either one of these guys, though. If you have a split decision loss, that is one of the best indications that it was a close fight. The kind of fights you want to see a rematch on are the ones that are close fights. If Izzy can’t, that as a rematch is very compelling.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 297.

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