Dricus Du Plessis is aware of what UFC President Dana White recently said about his status in the middleweight title picture.
Du Plessis was expected to be the one to challenge Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight title at UFC 293. Du Plessis needed more time to heal an injury and as a result, Sean Strickland stepped up and made the most of his opportunity. Strickland defeated Adesanya via unanimous decision to win UFC gold in Sydney, Australia.
Dricus Du Plessis Reacts To Dana White’s Recent Comments
During a media scrum before UFC 293, Dana White said he wasn’t too thrilled with Dricus Du Plessis not taking the title fight when offered. In an exclusive interview with Middle Easy, Du Plessis told Michael Owens that he isn’t too sure what the UFC is expecting from him.
“I honestly believe that Dana didn’t know who this South African dude was up until the Whittaker win,” Du Plessis said.
“If you look at TJ Dillashaw when he hurt his shoulder, he went into the fight with Aljo and obviously had a massive shoulder injury before that,” Du Plessis said. “The UFC was furious at him. They said, ‘Listen, you compromised the event by fighting injured. Why didn’t you let us know of this injury?’ So, now I go and I declare my injury. I told them, ‘Listen, I’m not going to be able to fight to the best of my ability with this injury.’ Dana goes ahead and says, ‘You know how I feel about fighters turning down fights.’ So, what I’m asking is, what’s the thing? What do you do? Do you go fight injured and then you get roasted for that after the fight? Or do you tell them I’m injured and then you get roasted for not taking the fight? That’s a point I would like to get to because I feel that from the company I’m getting a lot of flak, but I fought three times in seven months.”
Feud With Adesanya
Du Plessis and Adesanya appeared to be on a collision course when “Izzy” entered the Octagon at UFC 290 to confront Du Plessis. Adesanya hurled expletives at the South African fighter. Du Plessis insists nothing Adesanya said got under his skin.
“There was no emotional feeling towards him at all,” Du Plessis said. “I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t disappointed, it didn’t matter. To me, the only thing that mattered was I just beat Robert Whittaker in spectacular fashion, but now this dude’s right here in my face and he has the belt, so he’s the next guy. Right now, I don’t even think about him anymore because he’s out and Sean Strickland’s in.”
Win Over Whittaker
Du Plessis scored the biggest win of his pro MMA career back in July. He earned a second-round TKO finish over former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker. Du Plessis admitted that despite the stellar showing, there is room for improvement.
“I would give myself a good seven to eight out of 10 for that performance, but there was still a lot of mistakes and there was still a lot of things that need to be fixed, and they will be fixed once I fight for that title.”