Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker have had a long and intense rivalry, but with Whittaker’s loss to Dricus Du Plessis, the landscape of the division has shifted, leading to a potential new rivalry between Du Plessis and Adesanya.
Plessis’s victory over ‘ The Reaper’ at UFC 290 was indeed a stunning achievement that has propelled him further up the middleweight rankings. With a professional record of 20-2-0, ‘Stillknocks’ has proven himself to be a highly skilled and formidable fighter in the division.
Israel Adesanya and Dricus Du Plessis heated exchange at UFC 290
In the post-fight octagon verbal brawl, Adesanya launched an attack of words on Plessis, using harsh racial remarks. Israel confidently claimed that he doesn’t need a DNA test to determine whether his origin is from Africa.
‘Yeah my African brother, yeah my African brother. What’s up n****r, yeah n****r. Let’s go n****r, what’s up b***h? Let’s go n****r. Yeah n****r. What’s up n****r? What the f*** you gonna do n****r?’ Adesanya said.
— Jmag (@jmagings) July 9, 2023
Adesanya promised to demonstrate to Plessis his own roots, asserting that the upcoming fight would be a simple task and an effortless opportunity for him to make money.
Dricus Du Plessis reacts to Israel Adesanya's comments during their face-off pic.twitter.com/o0mcCJNsIm
— Best MMA Moments (@XcellentMMA) July 9, 2023
‘Get this s**t out! I am African but I ain’t no brother of yours. What do you say to everybody in New Zealand?’ Plessis replied.
Israel Adesanya and Dricus Du Plessis feud for UFC gold
As the dust settles from his impressive win, Du Plessis has wasted no time in setting his sights on a title shot against Adesanya, the reigning champion and widely regarded as one of the best fighters in the middleweight division.
Du Plessis’s ambition to challenge Adesanya for the title is a testament to his confidence and belief in his abilities. Rising to the fifth spot in the middleweight rankings following his victory over Whittaker, Du Plessis clearly poses a legitimate threat to Adesanya’s reign as the champion.
— MMA Orbit (@mma_orbit) July 9, 2023
So far Dricus has had a steady rise in the 185-pound division. Defeating Robert, who has pretty much cleared out the entire division makes him a strong contender for Izzy.
However, beating the ‘Last Stylebender’ could take more than just combat prowess as the Kiwi has already started the mental warfare.