South Africa’s Dricus du Plessis Awaits Adesanya Showdown

Dricus du Plessis: South Africa’s Finest Eyes Showdown with Israel Adesanya

Dricus du Plessis has carved an impressive path in the UFC, remaining undefeated in his first seven bouts. With five finishes to his name, including four knockouts and one submission, the 30-year-old, known as “Stillknocks,” captured the middleweight title by defeating Sean Strickland via split decision at UFC 297 in January. Du Plessis now eagerly anticipates his first title defence, hoping for a showdown with Israel Adesanya.

Adesanya Fight Anticipation

Du Plessis has been vocal about his desire to face Adesanya, despite injuries and scheduling conflicts delaying their encounter. He expressed his eagerness, stating, “I’m in. I’ve agreed to everything. I’m ready. That’s the fight I want. I called him out after winning the belt, and that’s the fight the fans want to see. Let’s just announce this thing.”

The anticipation for this fight is palpable, yet there seems to be an unknown hold-up. Du Plessis shared his frustration: “I don’t know what’s the hold-up. I want it to be announced, I want it to go if that’s it. I said yes, 100 percent. I don’t know from his side, I don’t know what the story is, what the hold-up is. Maybe UFC’s waiting for something, I’m not sure. I’ve agreed to it.”

Open to Other Contenders

While du Plessis eagerly awaits confirmation of the Adesanya fight, he remains open to other potential opponents. He remarked, “If they phoned me today and said, ‘We’re doing the Sean Strickland second fight,’ I’ll be great, let’s do it. If they say no, we’re gonna wait and do the Khamzat [Chimaev] fight, great. I don’t make the fights. I said I’ll be ready to fight in May. I was ready to fight from then on. I just wasn’t ready for UFC 300.”

Du Plessis is also critical of Khamzat Chimaev’s readiness for a title shot. After recovering from a foot injury, he’s targeting a return at UFC 305 in Perth, Australia, in August. As the middleweight division evolves, with Robert Whittaker and Khamzat Chimaev set to headline UFC Saudi Arabia, du Plessis is watching closely.

Middleweight Division Dynamics

“The very exciting division at the moment,” du Plessis commented. “I think Khamzat and Whittaker fighting, that’s a big test for Khamzat. That’s a big step for Whittaker and what’s next in his career because he needs that win to stay in the front.”

Du Plessis defeated Whittaker with a second-round TKO to earn his title shot in July 2023. Since then, Whittaker has rebounded with a unanimous decision win over Paulo Costa at UFC 298. Chimaev seeks his 14th consecutive victory, with a title shot likely if he triumphs over Whittaker.

Despite the stakes, du Plessis believes the pressure is more on Chimaev. “In my opinion, if Whittaker beats Khamzat, I don’t think it warrants him the title shot,” du Plessis said. “I would love to see him and Strickland fight it out for a No. 1 contender fight.”

Champion’s Preparedness

As the reigning champion, du Plessis remains prepared to face any challenger. “I need to fight who they give me. I’m going to fight the best guy,” he asserted. “If I had to fight Adesanya, Strickland, or Khamzat, I would not have a problem with either of them. It’s good fights either way.”

Dricus du Plessis, South Africa’s finest, stands ready to defend his UFC middleweight title, whether against Israel Adesanya or another top contender. The world eagerly awaits the next chapter in this thrilling saga.

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