Last Updated: January 23, 2024

South Africa’s Dricus du Plessis dethroned Sean Strickland in a pulsating five-round battle.

In a twist for both fight fans and Drake’s bank account, Dricus du Plessis snatched the UFC middleweight championship from Sean Strickland in a thrilling split decision victory (48-47, 48-47, 47-48) at UFC 297 on January 21 night in Toronto, leaving the Canadian rap superstar $700,000 poorer.

Fueling the pre-fight fire, a day before the event, betting site tweeted: “Our boy @Drake backing in @SStricklandMMA in #UFC297 Strickland, Sean odds 1,97, Stake $700,000, Estimated payout $1,379,000.”

After the fight was over, Stake tweeted: @dricusduplessis gets the job done via split decision.

Increasing its footprints in sports betting, Stake recently acquired exclusive title rights to motorsports engineering company Sauber’s Formula One campaigns for 2024 and 2035.

Drake, famous for his high-profile sports wagers, had publicly thrown his weight behind Strickland, potentially hoping to turn $700,000 into a cool $1.4 million.

The Fight

The fight night, much like Drake’s betting slip, wasn’t destined for sunshine. The air crackled with tension even before the main event as Strickland and du Plessis engaged in a heated pre-fight brawl, foreshadowing the fierce battle to come.

Inside the octagon, Strickland battled valiantly, but du Plessis proved to be a resilient force. He weathered the storm with sharp striking and opportunistic takedowns, chipping away at Strickland’s lead and ultimately claiming the victory and the title in a close decision.

Drake’s Losing Streak

However, this wasn’t the first time Drake’s luck in the octagon went south. Just last September, he lost $500,000 when Strickland upset Israel Adesanya, snatching the middleweight belt in a stunning upset. Drake would have walked away with a cool $920K if Adesanya had retained his title.

Drake’s recent foray into combat sports betting hasn’t been stellar either. In November, he lost $850,000 on Logan Paul’s victory over Dillon Danis, despite Paul securing a win via disqualification rather than the KO Drake had hoped for. If Paul had landed that knockout, Drake would have come away with a sweet $1.35 million.