Whittaker, a middleweight contender, will clash with Du Plessis on the UFC 290 main card in Las Vegas this coming Saturday, with a potential title shot in the offing. Whittaker is eyeing a chance to reclaim the 185-pound title that he surrendered to Israel Adesanya four years ago.
A victory over Du Plessis could pave the way for a third bout with Adesanya for Whittaker, but he isn’t taking the former KSW champion lightly, despite being the clear favorite in betting circles.
“He represents my toughest challenge yet,” Whittaker claimed during UFC 290 media day. “He’s the wildcard. Judging the past is easy, but he’s the enigma. I comprehend the threat he poses, he’s a comprehensive fighter and a formidable athlete, and physically, he’s no lightweight. He enters the ring with zero to lose and all to gain, a position many overlook.
“There’s nothing more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose but everything to gain. In honor of the threat he poses, I have dedicated the past 14 weeks to rigorous training, and let the best man prevail. He will face the best version of me this weekend.”
Du Plessis, in his five UFC bouts, remains undefeated. During this period, he has overcome four of his rivals, including notable contenders Derek Brunson and Darren Till. Du Plessis and his crew maintain that fans have not yet witnessed his full potential, citing a recent nasal surgery that addressed a breathing problem.
Whittaker was initially uncertain about this development but has since prepared for the top form of Du Plessis.
“I dismissed it initially,” Whittaker recalled. “But after experiencing a blocked nose during training, I realized there might be some truth to it.
“Regardless, my training hasn’t been about a single round or expecting him to burn out quickly. I won’t underestimate him. That’s a recipe for disaster.”
When asked to identify Du Plessis’ most dangerous attribute, Whittaker underscored his competitor’s ability to thrive under pressure and secure victories.
“His tenacity,” Whittaker noted. “He is an athletic, talented fighter with a broad range of skills, and his refusal to give in is threatening. It has repeatedly led him to victory, even in bouts where he was on the brink of defeat, because unlike his opponents, he doesn’t quit.
“It’s not about overpowering him,” Whittaker added. “It’s about outperforming him. My strategy is to spot weaknesses and opportunities I can leverage for victory.”
Whittaker is evidently bracing for a challenging fight, one that could leave him bruised even if he triumphs on Saturday. Ideally, he would secure a decisive victory over Du Plessis, receive confirmation of his next face-off with Adesanya from the UFC, and stay fit enough to compete at UFC 293 in Sydney two months later.
However, Whittaker isn’t getting ahead of himself yet.
“I’d be thrilled to fight in Sydney,” Whittaker expressed. “However, my focus isn’t beyond this weekend at the moment. I need to conquer this immediate hurdle first.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Robert Whittaker Dricus Du Plessis Fight
Who is Robert Whittaker?
Who is Dricus Du Plessis?
Dricus Du Plessis is a fighter in the UFC, currently competing as a middleweight contender. He previously held the KSW championship title.
When and where will Whittaker and Du Plessis fight?
Whittaker and Du Plessis will face off in their fight at UFC 290, which is scheduled to take place in Las Vegas.
Is there a title shot on the line for Whittaker?
Yes, a win over Du Plessis could potentially earn Whittaker a shot at the 185-pound title, which he lost to Israel Adesanya four years ago.
What makes this fight dangerous for Whittaker?
Whittaker considers this fight with Du Plessis as his most dangerous challenge to date. Du Plessis is a well-rounded and physically imposing fighter who has yet to be defeated in his UFC career.
What are Whittaker’s expectations for the fight?
Whittaker expects a tough fight and is prepared for the best version of Du Plessis. He has trained intensely for the past 14 weeks and aims to come out as the best fighter in the matchup.
What is Du Plessis’ most dangerous trait, according to Whittaker?
Whittaker highlights Du Plessis’ resilience and refusal to quit as his most dangerous trait. Du Plessis has a history of coming back from the brink of defeat to secure victories.
What are Whittaker’s future plans after this fight?
Whittaker’s immediate focus is on the fight with Du Plessis. He aims to score an impressive win, potentially secure a title shot, and remain healthy for future fights.