Jon Anik: Dricus Du Plessis ‘Wise’ To Not Fight Israel Adesanya At UFC 293, Sean Strickland ‘Deserves’ Title Shot

Anik breaks down who could be Adesanya's next foe.

Adesanya Ddp Strickland
(via @ufc, @alexpoatanpereira - Instagram)

Jon Anik thinks Dricus Du Plessis made the right decision.

Du Plessis Won’t Rush A Title Fight

The #1 Middleweight contender was thought to be the next title challenger after dispatching of Robert Whittaker at UFC 290. Du Plessis even faced off with the champ Israel Adesanya but despite the hype, it looks like he won’t be making a quick turnaround against Adesanya at UFC 293 in September.

UFC commentator Anik doesn’t blame Du Plessis for leaving Adesanya without a dance partner.

“Dricus has positioned himself for a title fight,” Anik told The Schmo. “You finished Robert Whitaker inside of 10 minutes, you’ve earned that opportunity. But, I think Du Plesss is wise to not just rush things. If you’re gonna fight these Israel Adesanya, you gotta bring in the requisite training partners. You gotta have the right type of training camp. His hands were all swollen at the press conference. His foot’s mangled. Like you just can’t fight Izzy under those conditions.

“So, I think it’s smart for Du Plessis even though there is risk in foregoing a championship opportunity, I think he’s making the right career decision.”

Adesanya vs. Blachowicz/Pereira?

The clock is ticking with less than two months until the UFC returns to Australia. Adesanya headlining the event is a no-brainer but against who? While it might be out of left field, Anik has an idea.

“We still don’t know what’s gonna happen in Sydney at UFC 293, which is fastly approaching. So it’s not as though the winner of [Jan Blachowicz vs. Alex Pereira] could be thrust into UFC 293. But it’s not crazy to think right that maybe you do Adesanya and the winner of Pereira and Blachowicz for the light heavyweight title since it’s vacant in Sydney… You just never know.”

Blachowicz and Pereira are the only men to defeat Adesanya in the Octagon and will fight this weekend at UFC 291. Blachowicz gave Adesanya his first loss at UFC 259, defending his UFC Light Heavyweight title in the process. Pereira put an end to Adesanya’s title reign, TKO’ing him at UFC 281 in 2022. However, Adesanya did get revenge on ‘Poatan’ earlier this year at UFC 287.

Sean Strickland ‘Deserves The Championship Opportunity’

The more realistic option, the one that Adesanya himself called for, would be to have #6 contender Sean Strickland step in for a title fight. But, that’s another fight that seems to have fallen through the cracks as ‘Tarzan’ reveals the UFC doesn’t want him to fight Adesanya.

“Sean Strickland’s the guy that I believe deserves the championship opportunity,” Anik continued. “He has repeatedly stepped up for the promotion fighting Alex Pereira, fighting Nassourdine Imavov. But why the delay? So, a lot of people are inferring, perhaps wrongly, that the promotion doesn’t have a healthy appetite for that fight.

“Sean Strickland deserves a championship opportunity right now and Izzy wants that fight. But, why haven’t they made it?” Anik asked.

Published on July 29, 2023 at 3:24 pm
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