It’s publicly known who Israel Adesanya‘s next championship defense opponent will be. Dricus du Plessis, a South African with whom ‘The Last Stylebender’ has a vendetta soaked in African pride, will challenge the Nigerian-born New Zealander’s claim to the middleweight throne.
Dricus du Plessis’ comments about being a fairer representation of African MMA than Kamaru Usman, Francis Ngannou, and Israel Adesanya hit deep and aroused a rage within the reigning middleweight champion beyond anything fans had ever seen from him. The two are now scheduled to clash later this year.
Israel Adesanya has firmly established himself as the best 185-pounder in the world and has received recognition for his technical excellence. On the other hand, Dricus du Plessis’ resilience as a top fighter has been called into question during the road to his first-ever UFC championship opportunity.
Many people predict Israel Adesanya to win easily, but that has been the tale of du Plessis’ career. Everyone expects Dricus’ opponents to easily defeat him. However, over and over again, Dricus has proven them wrong.
In a recent development to this, Adesanya stated in a YouTube interview that “He’s never been more motivated to kill a man.” Later to direct his intention, Adesanya clarified “Not to end his life but to really put a beating on someone.”
The champ isn’t messing around when it comes to fighting Dricus Du Plessis 😳 pic.twitter.com/KEzo5cB9IZ— MMA Orbit (@mma_orbit) July 17, 2023
Adesanya recently complemented du Plessis on his abilities, stating that he was rooting for ‘Stillknocks’ ahead of the UFC 290 showdown against Robert Whittaker.
Daniel Cormier believes it’s a must-win match for Israel Adesanya
‘The Last Stylebender’ was in attendance to watch UFC 290. He was ringside for his next opponent, Dricus du Plessis, who battled Robert Whittaker in a middleweight title eliminator. ‘Stillknocks’ was a huge underdog against ‘The Reaper’ going into the fight.
However, the South African fighter earned the championship chance with a shock knockout win on Saturday. Following the bout, Israel Adesanya and Dricus du Plessis squared off in an extremely contentious face-off.
However, Israel Adesanya’s brawl in the cage with Dricus du Plessis at UFC 290 drew Daniel Cormier’s attention. The commentator, together with Ben Askren, discussed the matter on his YouTube channel. He disclosed there that he explored the origins of the conflict with Joe Rogan following the viral moment.
Despite the intense and emotional build-up, Daniel Cormier feels Israel Adesanya must win this fight. With Dricus du Plessis already agitated, the analyst feels things will only become worse.
“If Izzy can win, it’ll feel great for him. But if he loses, boy, could you imagine if he loses to Dricus? That’s the one guy he doesn’t want to lose to. If he loses that, it’s not good. You can’t lose to him! You’re in a situation now where you can’t lose!” DC stated. (h/t BJPenn)
Regardless of how you feel about Adesanya’s statements at UFC 290, one apparent benefit is that “The Last Stylbender” now has a new opponent after basically cleaning out the middleweight category in previous years.