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South African Dricus du Plessis is the UFC middleweight title holder.

The 30-year-old beat Sean Strickland via a split decision. The result was based on the scorecards handed in by the three judges: 48-47; 47-48; and 48-47.

Before losing to du Plessis, the controversial American won the belt from Israel Adesanya in September. It was a big upset at the time, and it was expected that Strickland would be able to defend his belt against du Plessis.

The lead-up to the match contained weeks of bantering between the two fighters both in public and on social media.

Du Plessis, who has never had to fight more than four rounds, was forced to battle through five rounds with Strickland. He managed to bloody the former champion and won with one point.

The South African had a big support group at home but also inside the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada. He was joined by his parents, siblings and girlfriends in the crowd.

Du Plessis is the first South African to win a UFC title.

Image credit: Sportsnet

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