The CEO of the UFC, Dana White, has announced the first three events of the organization’s 2024 schedule.
The UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland defends his belt for the first time against Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 297. Strickland secured a major upset by winning the belt against Israel Adesanya via a unanimous decision at UFC 293. The two will face off on January 20th, 2024, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as Du Plessis gets his title shot following a victory against Robert Whittaker.
“In January, we’re doing Sean Strickland v Dricus Du Plessis. In February, we’re doing Volkanovski v Topuria, and in March we’re doing O’Malley v Vera. Busting into the new year with some fun fights. I’ll see you guys in New York City,” White
Elsewhere, Alexander Volkanovski jumps back into action at UFC 298 in February against Ilia Topuria. The featherweight champion will defend his belt after being stopped by Islam Makhachev in their lightweight clash. The Australian took the bout on short notice following Charles Oliveira’s withdrawal, only to be stopped in the first round. As for Topuria, the fighter remains undefeated in the UFC following his win over Josh Emmett in his last bout.
And to round things off, Sean O’Malley defends his bantamweight belt at UFC 299 in March against Marlon Vera. O’Malley secured the title with a win over Aljamain Sterling, while Vera secured a win over Pedro Munhoz to get the title shot. Vera is the only man to have beaten O’Malley following their meeting in 2020.