The first pay-per-view of 2024 is eagerly anticipated, and with the date slowly closing in, we're here today to discuss all the information we have about UFC 297, including the headliners and where it's going down.
First confirmed by Alex Behunin, the UFC will be returning to Toronto, Canada, for the first PPV of 2024 inside the Scotiabank Arena. This marks the UFC's seventh return to Toronto and the 33rd return to Canada. The event will go down on January 20th.
Toronto has only hosted PPVs, which makes UFC 297 no exception. Toronto has had three regular headliners, with Max Holloway, Jon Jones, and Georges St-Pierre each headlining twice each.
Dana White announced that the headliner for this card will be a Middleweight Championship fight; Sean Strickland will defend his title against Dricus du Plessis in the main event. Strickland is coming off a dominant performance over Israel Adesanya, and du Plessis, who's ranked #2, is coming off a statement victory over Robert Whittaker.
The co-main event will be a vacant Women's Bantamweight title fight between Raquel Pennington and Mayra Bueno Silva. Pennington is riding a five-fight win streak, and Silva is riding a four-fight unbeaten streak, with most of her wins coming via submission.
Arnold Allen vs. Movsar Evloev will also be featured in this event. Both are top-10 Featherweight talents looking to move towards a title shot. Allen is coming off a decision loss to Holloway, whereas Evloev is riding an unbeaten seventeen-fight win streak. The winner of this bout could be the next challenger to the Featherweight throne after Ilia Topuria.
Ranked Middleweight Chris Curtis will return on this card against Canadian Marc-André Barriault. Curtis holds the #14 ranking and will be looking to defend his spot against Barriault, who's riding a two-fight win streak. On the other hand, Curtis has not won a fight since December 2022 and will be looking to start the year with a victory.
Fan favorite Canadian Mike Malott will be featured on the card against Welterweight veteran Neil Magny. Malott hasn't lost since 2014 and has finished all three UFC bouts. Magny is coming off a decision loss to Ian Garry but has yet to lose two straight since 2013. Something has to give way in this prospect vs. vet showdown.
All other confirmed fights:
Featherweight bout: Charles Jourdain vs. Sean Woodson
Bantamweight bout: Brad Katona vs. Garrett Armfield
Women's Strawweight bout: Gillian Robertson vs. Polyana Viana
Bantamweight bout: Serhiy Sidey vs. Ramon Taveras
Flyweight bout: Malcolm Gordon vs. Jimmy Flick
Welterweight bout: Yohan Lainesse vs. Sam Patterson
Alexander Volkanovsk was preparing to face undefeated rising star Ilia Topuria on this card, but following his KO loss to Islam Makhachev, he waited until February to face Topuria.
Cub Swanson announced via X (formerly known as Twitter) that the UFC wanted him to fight in Toronto. However, the fan-favorite veteran will miss the event, as he underwent surgery on October 9th. Fans have speculated that the UFC wanted Swanson to face Canadian Charles Jourdain, who called Swanson out following his submission victory over Ricardo Ramos.
Keep checking back here as we learn more information about UFC 297.