In a showdown that had fans buzzing, Israel Adesanya and Dricus Du Plessis faced off with the anticipation that their middleweight clash would unfold at UFC 293. However, plans took a turn when Du Plessis opted out of the September fight date due to a lingering foot injury he sustained while triumphing over Robert Whittaker. As a result, Adesanya had to shift his focus to a different opponent, Sean Strickland, for the upcoming card in Sydney, Australia.
Adesanya’s reaction to Du Plessis’ withdrawal from the match wasn’t one of anger, but rather, a sense of disappointment. Speaking to MMA Hook during an appearance for Stake.com, Adesanya remarked, “I’m not mad, I’m disappointed… That would have been [huge], but again, I think it’s for the greater good. That’s OK. When it happens, it will be one of the biggest fights in sporting history. All in due time.”
The rivalry between these middleweights gained momentum as Du Plessis expressed his desire to be recognized as “the African fighter in the UFC,” citing his strong connection to his African roots, while Adesanya, born in Nigeria, now resides in New Zealand. This narrative fueled Adesanya’s eagerness to face Du Plessis, making the anticipated UFC 293 bout a high-priority showdown for him.
Despite the missed opportunity, Adesanya remains confident that he will eventually cross paths with Du Plessis. In fact, the timing might just play in their favor, potentially turning the grudge match into an even bigger spectacle. Du Plessis’ South African heritage adds a layer of significance to the potential encounter, especially considering the UFC’s interest in hosting events in Africa.
Adesanya’s thoughts on this possibility were clear: “It could happen in South Africa… It could happen somewhere on the great continent of Africa. It could happen in Nigeria, Morocco, even South Africa — it would be better if we had it in South Africa. I’d like to whoop his ass in his own home country.”
While Adesanya is eager for this battle, he acknowledges that the timing of such events is often unpredictable. He expressed his regret over Du Plessis passing on the September opportunity, knowing that his fighting schedule could have seen him back in the cage later in 2023 or even in 2024. Adesanya’s focus remains sharp on seizing opportunities as they arise, a strategy that has defined his career thus far.
In his own words, “You take the chances when they’re there. You don’t wait and hope. So he’ll learn. But we’ll see and I’ll see how I feel, because I call the shots.”
In the world of sports, where rivalries fuel the excitement and unexpected turns are the norm, the Adesanya-Du Plessis saga continues to captivate the imagination of fans, with the promise of an epic showdown still hanging in the balance. As the clock ticks and circumstances evolve, the world eagerly awaits the next chapter in this middleweight drama.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Middleweight Rivalry
What was the anticipated matchup between Israel Adesanya and Dricus Du Plessis?
Israel Adesanya and Dricus Du Plessis were expected to face off in a middleweight showdown at UFC 293.
Why did the fight between Adesanya and Du Plessis not happen as planned?
Dricus Du Plessis withdrew from the fight due to a lingering foot injury sustained in a previous match against Robert Whittaker.
How did Israel Adesanya react to Du Plessis’ decision?
Adesanya expressed disappointment rather than anger, stating that while the missed opportunity was regrettable, he believed it would eventually lead to a larger and more significant bout.
What fueled the rivalry between Adesanya and Du Plessis?
Dricus Du Plessis’ desire to be recognized as “the African fighter in the UFC,” coupled with his South African roots, ignited a rivalry with Adesanya, who was born in Nigeria but now resides in New Zealand.
Where does Adesanya hope to have the potential fight with Du Plessis?
Adesanya envisions the fight taking place in Africa, specifically in South Africa, Nigeria, or even Morocco, due to the meaningful connection both fighters have with the continent.
How does Adesanya view the timing of his fights and opportunities?
Adesanya believes in seizing opportunities when they present themselves, rather than waiting and hoping for them to come. He emphasized his control over the situation and his approach to calling the shots in his career.
What is the overall perspective on the rivalry’s future?
As the narrative of the Adesanya-Du Plessis rivalry continues to evolve, fans eagerly await the possibility of a spectacular showdown, with the anticipation growing for the next chapter in this middleweight drama.
More about Middleweight Rivalry
- Israel Adesanya and Dricus Du Plessis Set to Face Off – MMA Fighting article discussing the initial announcement of the Adesanya-Du Plessis matchup.
- Dricus Du Plessis Withdraws Due to Foot Injury – MMA Junkie report detailing Du Plessis’ decision to withdraw from the fight due to injury.
- Adesanya’s Disappointment Over Du Plessis’ Withdrawal – MMA Hook’s coverage of Adesanya expressing his disappointment regarding the missed opportunity.
- Dricus Du Plessis’ African Fighter Ambitions – The Sportster’s analysis of Du Plessis’ ambition to be recognized as “the African fighter in the UFC.”
- Adesanya’s Perspective on Seizing Opportunities – SCMP’s exclusive interview with Adesanya discussing his approach to taking opportunities in his career.