Dricus Du Plessis Doubles Down After Israel Adesanya Backlash

Dricus Du Plessis isn’t backing down after making some controversial comments.

BYBen Mock
Dricus Du Plessis Doubles Down After Israel Adesanya Backlash

Dricus Du Plessis has been fighting for a decade, but only recently made the jump to the UFC. 14-2 in the EFC Africa and KSW promotions, he is 5-0 since his UFC debut at Fight Night 178. While he is yet to get a title fight, it only feels like a matter of time.

However, Du Plessis has been making headlines for different reasons in recent days. At UFC 285 in March, where Du Plessis defeated Derek Brunson, the South African fighter made comments about how he and Cameron Saaiman were "African fighters" and that he would plans on taking a belt "back to the continent". This earned the ire of the Nigerian-born, and current UFC title holder, Israel Adesanya. Adesanya, the reigning middleweight champion, expressed his desire to punish Du Plessis in the Octagon.

Du Plessis Responds to Adesanya, Fuels Fight Speculation

MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 8: Israel Adesanya celebrates his victory over Alex Pereira in their middleweight fight during the UFC 287 event on April 8, 2023, at the Kaseya Center in Miami, FL. (Photo by Alejandro Salazar/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“I never said it wasn’t my intention,” Du Plessis told Submission Radio. “It wasn’t my intention because that’s not what I said, there was no intention involved. It was look at the facts what I said. I’ve never said the words ‘more African’ in my life. I didn’t say they were not African. I stated facts asI am the only one in title contention ever born in Africa, live in Africa, reside in Africa, and train there every single day. That was my statement. Some people say I’m backpedaling, I never backpedaled. I’m sticking with that because that is the facts. 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."

He continued, directly addressing Adesanya. “It seems to have struck a nerve with Israel Adesanya,” he continued. “It seems like he likes to be whatever fits him best considering nationalities. He’s referred to himself as a Kiwi, he’s referred to himself as Chinese, he’s referred to himself as a Nigerian. 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." The comments have fuelled the potential for a title fight between the two men at UFC 293 in September. However, that is somewhat in doubt, given Du Plessis' current plan to fight Robert Whittaker at UFC 290. This is a developing story and you'll find any updates here at HotNewHipHop.


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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.