Dricus Du Plessis Confident a Win Over Israel Adesanya at UFC 305 Puts Him Into the GOAT Conversation

If DDP hands the 'Stylebender' a second-straight loss inside the Octagon, there will be no denying his claim as the greatest middleweight in UFC history

Dricus Du Plessis
Courtesy of @UFCNews on X

Dricus Du Plessis believes a win over Israel Adesanya will put him into the GOAT conversation. 

After snatching the middleweight world title with a somewhat controversial split decision over Sean Strickland in January, ‘Stillknocks’ will put his belt on the line for the very first time when he welcomes back Adesanya to the Octagon at UFC 305 on Saturday, August 17 in Perth. 

By the time they step inside the cage in The Land Down Under, it will have been more than a year since their viral staredown at UFC 290. Still, the stakes are as high as ever with pride, gold, and status hanging in the balance. 

“I’ve always looked at Israel Adesanya as the benchmark,” Du Plessis told Fox West Texas. “Now Izzy became a champion a long time ago and I’ve looked at him and always knew, ‘This is where I need to be if I ever wanna be the best in the world.’… He is one of the greatest to ever do it. And this fight for me is gonna put me in that position. This is where I take over as one of the greatest to ever do it.

“This is where my years of building and climbing the ladder are coming to a point where I am now the guy.”

Du Plessis is a perfect 7-0 inside the Octagon, holding an assortment of wins over the best of the best at 185, including Darren Till, Derek Brunson, Robert Whittaker, and Sean Strickland. ‘DDP’ knows that he’s in for the toughest test of his career against ‘The Last Stylebender,’ but if he can make it eight straight, he’ll likely go down as one of the greatest middleweights in the history of the sport. 

“He’s a very smart fighter,” Du Plessis added. “He figures out his opponents and he sets a lot of traps. He does it incredibly well. So for me, this fight is just like how beating Robert Whittaker was. It’s a fight that people don’t think [I’m] going to win. It’s a hard fight. I’m fighting against one of the greatest middleweights ever and I have to go out there and prove that I am that guy.

“That’s what this fight is going to mean to me. It’s going to mean, I told you I belong here. This fight is going to mean that Dricus Du Plessis is in the conversation of being one of the greatest middleweights ever.”

Dricus Du Plessis Expects to Send the Middleweight Top 10 into Retreat with a Dominant Win Over Adesanya

With a slew of contenders constantly climbing over the top of one another in hopes of bagging a shot at middleweight gold, Du Plessis expects the demand to die down once he takes care of business against Adesanya this summer. 

“I think I’m gonna have a lot less callouts, I can tell you that,” he said. “I think a lot less people are gonna be calling me out. I think a lot less Top 10, Top 5 guys are gonna go, ‘Nah, I wanna fight Dricus.’… I think there’s gonna be a lot of people saying, ‘No, maybe I need a couple of more before I go at the champ.’ I think that’s what’s gonna happen. I see myself planting doubt in every single contender in the middleweight division.

“They’re gonna realize this sport has changed forever and if you don’t change with it very quickly, if you don’t adapt very quickly, you’ll never be there. And I think it’s gonna change the game forever.”

After establishing himself as perhaps the greatest 185’er of all time, Adesanya has found himself in a bit of a funk, losing two of his last three, including a fifth-round KO loss to Alex Pereira—the UFC’s current light heavyweight champion—and Sean Strickland, who absolutely dominated the ‘Stylebender’ for a full five rounds in September. 

With a win over Du Plessis, Adesanya will not only bounce back in a big way, but he’ll also etch his name in the history books once again as the division’s only three-time champion.

Watch the full interview below:

Published on June 26, 2024 at 4:10 pm
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