Dricus Du Plessis is not walking back what he said about Israel Adesanya but only adding some clarification.
The middleweight division in the UFC is beginning to heat up. Champion Israel Adesanya is once again holding the belt and the rest of the division is gunning to take it away from him. One man who may have gotten underneath Adesanya’s skin recently is contender Dricus Du Plessis. Du Plessis will be taking on Robert Whittaker this summer with the winner hoping to get the next title shot against Adesanya.
Du Plessis is from South Africa and is highly patriotic. He loves representing his country and his continent of Africa in the UFC He recently described himself as one of only true African fighters in the UFC. He stated that he is an African-born, African-raised UFC fighter who lives in Africa and trains in Africa. This was taken as a slight to Adesanya who is also of African descent but lives in trains in New Zealand. Adesanya did not take this well and it has been coming for Du Plessis ever since. Du Plessis is now saying that perhaps his comments were taken out of context and he is now clarifying exactly what he meant.
“I don’t care how it came across, I care about what the fact is and what I said and that’s what I said. Our rivalry and it seemed to have struck a nerve with Israel Adesanya cuz it seems like he likes to be whatever fits him best, in terms of nationalities he refers to themselves as Kiwi, refers to himself as Chinese, and he’s referred to himself as Nigerian,” he said on Submission Radio. “So, you know at the end of the day he’s born in Africa he is African, but he does not reside here and that is the fact. that is what makes me and him different.”
Dricus Du Plessis is enjoying his rivalry with Israel Adesanya but still has respect for the champ
If all goes well for Du Plessis he will be able to defeat Robert Whittaker on July 8 at UFC 290 and will set him up for a fight against Adesanya. Despite the back-and-forth and the bad blood between the two of them, there is no respect loss from Du Plessis. He believes Adesanya will go down in history as one of the best middleweights in the UFC, however, perhaps he will be in the running for the title once he wins his first championship belt.
“At the end of the day, as a fighter, I’ve always had mad respect for Israel Adesanya. I think he’s an incredible, incredible fighter, and in terms of that in terms of legacy, of being a really, really, good fighter, and being possibly one of the greatest middleweights to ever do it? Unfortunately, his competition is a great Anderson Silva,” he said. “But I mean he’s on his way then. I can never take that away. I can never take away the fact that he is incredibly brilliant.”
Adesanya is fresh off of his last win over Alex Pereira and seems to be waiting it out to see what happens between Whitaker and Du Plessis in July. The rivalry regarding Africa and nationalism and everything else between these two seems like it would make for a very compelling fight. However, if Robert Whittaker wins it is unclear if the UFC was set him up with Adesanya for a third time.