Dricus du Plessis has gotten on the bad side of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya.
South Africa’s finest is proud to be an African. Unfortunately, for “Stillknocks,” his recent comments on the nation and the history of its UFC titleholders were misconstrued, according to him, landing him in hot water with the Nigeria-born Adesanya.
Adesanya has made it clear that du Plessis is his No. 1 target going forward after finally surpassing his largest obstacle, Alex Pereira. “The Last Stylebender” will now have to root for his potential rival, however, as du Plessis has been matched with former champion, Robert Whittaker, for UFC 290 on July 8, 2023. The winner is guaranteed the next title shot and the most recent champion, Pereira, doesn’t see this possible grudge match going well for du Plessis if he gets his shot at gold.
“If du Plessis wins, I think it will be a massacre,” Pereira said on his YouTube channel. “Adesanya knows this. He wants to make history. He wants to have an easy fight. For me, du Plessis is way easier than Whittaker. He wants to make history and collect wins and he knows it’s a good fight for him.
“Whittaker, he already knows it’s difficult,” he added. “In my opinion, they were having two hard fights. The knockout in the first fight, and the second fight was already a harder fight. Whittaker will be better in a third fight, if not win. Of course, Adesanya is very difficult. I think Adesanya is the favorite. But a third fight, Whittaker will be very dangerous and even more after knowing that Adesanya lost. He is not an invincible guy. He loses. He already lost a few times in kickboxing and I showed that in MMA. That will give Whittaker more confidence. I think he just has to do some adjustments.”
While the Middleweight division plays out, Pereira is now moving on after his first UFC loss and dethroning at the hands of Adesanya this past April 2023 at UFC 287 (watch highlights). “Poatan” is set to move up to the Light Heavyweight division for his next time out, but isn’t ruling out a possible return to the division he rose to championship status in.
This story originally appeared on MMA Mania