Dricus Du Plessis Details Why He Took ‘Risky’ Fight With Robert Whittaker At UFC 290

Dricus Du Plessis inches closer to championship showdown against Israel Adesanya.

Dricus Du Plessis Robert Whittaker
Image Credit: Dricus Du Plessis & Robert Whittaker's Instagram

Dricus Du Plessis is one win away from securing a title fight against Israel Adesanya.

Du Plessis is set to face Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 in July in a pivotal middleweight scrap. Dana White has already announced the winner will face Israel Adesanya for the title next time out.

Du Plessis Explains Decision to face Whittaker

However, many fans were confused as to why the UFC wouldn’t just book Du Plessis vs. Adesanya as the two have a rivalry going. As well, Whittaker is not an easy fight for Du Plessis, but the South African said he wanted to prove himself which is why he took the fight against Whittaker.

“A lot of people are saying it’s not the smart move to fight Whittaker and 100 percent, I agree with that. I agree it’s not the smart move, but I’m not here to be smart,” Du Plessis said toSubmission Radio. “Otherwise, I would’ve stayed in school and finished my studies, went to go work at a bank, wear a suit to work every day, and do some corporate life. That’s not the life I chose. I chose to be a warrior, I chose to be an entertainer, and at the end of the day, I’m a fighter. That’s what I do. I fight.

I don’t want to get that title shot based on some hype created by, I don’t even know what, some guy who has the title who’s behaving like a little child and overreacting and now the fight is happening because of that,” Du Plessis continued. “I want to deserve my title shot. I don’t want to be handed a title shot. I’m going to deserve my belt, and that’s why I wanted that Whittaker fight.”

Although Dricus Du Plessis doesn’t want to be handed a title shot, he is a sizeable betting underdog against Robert Whittaker. However, the South African is confident he has all the tools to beat Whittaker but knows it will be a tough fight.

“I believe composure, pressure, and keeping it over the whole fight, making no mistakes,” Du Plessis said. “One mistake is going to be the difference in this fight. One mistake will be the end of the fight, I believe at the level we are fighting at right now. With a guy like Whittaker, no mistakes can be made and any opportunity given has to be an opportunity taken. If he misses, he has to pay, I have to capitalize every single time he makes a mistake. I think that is the key to victory.”

If Du Plessis does get past Robert Whittaker, the South African will also have to make a quick turnaround as Israel Adesanya is expected to defend his belt in September in Australia.

Published on May 23, 2023 at 10:43 am
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