‘Trying To Convince Himself,’ Dricus Du Plessis Questions Israel Adesanya Ahead Of UFC 305

The UFC Middleweight Champion says Adesanya has went as far as he's gonna go with his career.

Ddp Adesanya Ufc 305
(via @ufceurope - Instagram)

Dricus Du Plessis thinks Israel Adesanya‘s best days are behind him.

Locked In

The UFC Middleweight title is on the line at UFC 305 in one of the more heated matchups of the year as current champ Du Plessis takes on the former, two-time champ Adesanya. Ahead of Aug. 18 in Perth, Australia, the two middleweights would cross paths in a longer-than-usual face-off with neither fighter wanting to break eye contact.

“It’s different for everyone. For me, when I do a staredown, that’s basically me telling you with my energy and with my eyes that it’s about to go down,” Du Plessis told Hello Sport, regarding his face-off with Adesanya. “I match that energy when I fight. It’s the same energy I get from that staredown and, yeah, 100% after a staredown like that, I’m just ready to go.”

UFC 305 will mark Du Plessis’ first title defense following a split decision win over Sean Strickland at UFC 297 in January. His opponent Adesanya is no stranger to fighting for titles or going five rounds, with “The Last Stylebender” in the championship setting for the last five years. 

Adesanya has lost in that time, but has always managed to find his way back up to the mountaintop, defeating longtime rival Alex Pereira to reclaim the throne at UFC 287, avenging three defeats across kickboxing and MMA. Adesanya will try to climb again after losing to Strickland with a win over the man he couldn’t beat in Du Plessis.

DDP Says Adesanya’s Success As A Champion ‘Will Never Come Again’

South Africa’s Du Plessis will do all he can to make sure that doesn’t happen, believing the 34 year-old Adesanya has already reached the peak of his career – well before their title fight at UFC 305.

“It’s almost a theme for me in this whole fight, is seeing that Israel Adesanya, and he knows it and the world knows it… he has done great things in the sport, but now when it comes to as big as he’s gonna get, he is, has been as big as he was, [as big as] he’s gonna get in the sport. When it comes to the title defenses, the winning streaks, that will never come again because of he doesn’t have the time,” Du Plessis said. 

“So, I think his biggest achievement for him personally was beating Alex Pereira. Now, he had this nemesis, he was beaten him multiple times, and after that fight, he was ready to call it quits and that’s what I saw in his eyes as well, trying to convince me, but, more so trying to convince himself that he still wants to do this and that he still has what it takes to be the best fighter in the world. As soon as you are asking yourself that question, you are in a dark place.”

From his post-fight interview at UFC 287, Israel Adesanya looked happier than ever with his career after finally beating the seemingly unbeatable Pereira last year. But, now that’s all said and done, Du Plessis isn’t too “convinced” Adesanya has much more give to the sport or to him in their title tilt, this August.

Israel Adesanya seeks to make history yet again with a title win in Australia, having the chance to become a three-time UFC champion – a feat nobody else has accomplished in the promotion. Across from him, Dricus Du Plessis looks to build his legacy, already having names like former champs Sean Strickland and Robert Whittaker on his resume.

Published on July 8, 2024 at 6:09 pm
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