Du Plessis Clarifies Past Comments
The quarrel between champion and contender all started in the lead-up to Du Plessis’ last fight at UFC 285, where he said he was THE African fighter in the UFC and that he was going to bring the belt back home to South Africa.
Adesanya and his fellow African-born superstars Francis Ngannou and Kamaru Usman didn’t take too kindly to these comments. Du Plessis doesn’t care too much, though, as he is fighting Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 this weekend.
“I don’t understand why they would feel it takes away from them at all,” Du Plessis told Shak MMA. “Because the fact of the matter is that I do live in Africa. I do, I simply stated a fact. I don’t think they listened to the original interview to be honest. I think they went and listened to some comments. I haven’t said the word, ‘real african’ once. I said, please show me where I said, ‘They are fake Africans or where I said that I am ‘the real African’. I didn’t say that. I simply said, I am the fighter that resides– the African fighter that still resides in Africa. That’s what I said.
“I don’t see why anybody would be offended by it. It makes no sense because that’s the fact of the matter. So, if they wanna be offended, I don’t care. I stated the facts, and right now that whole narrative doesn’t mean anything to me. What means anything to me right now is fighting Robert Whitaker and we’ll deal with everything that comes after that, after I’ve beaten Whittaker.”
Du Plessis Finds Adesanya’s Comments ‘Disgusting’
Du Plessis and Adesanya have been going back-and-forth on this topic for quite some time now. But, ‘The Last Stylebender’ took it a bit further when he called his rival a ‘cracker’, which is a racial slur to white people.
🚨JUST IN🚨— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) April 26, 2023
Israel Adesanya has spoken further on his fury at Dricus du Plessis’ “the African fighter” comments.
“Who the f**k is this c****a to tell me who I am?
“Who the f**k Kamaru is, who the f**k Francis is?
“I’m like, ‘Are you dumb?’” 🎥 Via Freestylebender on YT#UFC pic.twitter.com/DG7uRDouWI
While he wasn’t offended by what Adesanya had to say, ‘Stillknocks’ was utterly shocked by Adesanya’s character.
“The fact Israel Adesanya brought race into the conversation, that anybody brings race into a conversation like this, that was disgusting,” Du Plessis continued. “I thought that was terrible. I thought that was taking a step backwards. I was honestly shocked. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. I couldn’t believe when I heard that race was poured into it. I felt like the world of sports just took a step backwards and that was ridiculous to make it about that. That’s why I was really disappointed.”
“Adesanya as a champion has some sort of responsibility, I think. For him saying that, it doesn’t offend me at all. I’m not offended that at all, at any racial slurs that he called me. It doesn’t offend me. But the fact that’s that example that he’s setting as a champion, I don’t think that belongs to a champion’s character. I don’t believe that’s an issue you wanna send.”
‘I Don’t Want To Be A Part Of That’
“No, not at all,” Du Plessis stated, saying he doesn’t want this ‘Africa’ feud with Adesanya promoted, should he get a title shot with a win over Whittaker.
“In that case, that narrative, I don’t want to be a part of that. Like I said, it’s disgusting and it’s stupid. It’s makes no sense. So, yeah I don’t like that narrative at all. But at the end of the day, I am the guy that’s gonna take the battle home to Africa where I live.”