Adesanya vs Du Plessis Postponed: Izzy Opens Up on Failed Middleweight Title Fight at UFC 300

Adesanya vs Du Plessis Postponed: Izzy Opens Up on Failed Middleweight Title Fight at UFC 300

Byron Pillay
updated at March 7, 2024 at 7:01 AM
  • Israel Adesanya was approached to fight Dricus du Plessis in the main event of UFC 300 for the title
  • The Last Stylebender and Stillknocks have been engaged in a heated rivalry for a long period of time
  • Alex Pereira will now defend his Light Heavyweight title against Jamahal Hill in UFC 300's main bout

Fight fans are still waiting to see Dricus du Plessis take on Israel Adesanya.

The South African and Nigerian-born fighters are looking to settle their heated rivalry and almost got a chance to do so at UFC 300.

Dricus du Plessis and Israel Adesanya were scheduled to face each other at UFC 300.
Israel Adesanya has explained why the fight against Middleweight champion Dricus du Plessis will no longer take place at UFC 300. Image: Jeff Bottari/ Chris Unger.
Source: Getty Images

The two African middleweights were scheduled to battle each other for the title at one of the UFC’s biggest events in recent years.

Speaking about the fight, The Last Stylebender claimed he was ready to go but the champion’s side wasn’t interested in the bout, MMA Fighting reported.

What Adesanya said about the failed fight

"There are some things that were meant to happen. They summoned me for UFC 300, and I was like, 'Yep, let’s roll'. But their side didn’t want it. They didn’t want it," he said.

The former champ added that he believed Stillknocks may still have some minor injuries after his battle with Sean Strickland, but questioned that 'excuse'.

"They just fought Strickland, so maybe he had a little bit of niggly injuries and stuff, but we’ve all got niggles and whatnot."

Who does du Plessis want next?

While the new Middleweight champion hasn’t yet revealed any injury concerns, du Plessis still maintains that he wants to fight Adesanya.

Earlier this month, he confirmed he wanted to take on the Nigerian-born Kiwi, preferably on African soil, but otherwise, at a marquee event like UFC 300, Sports Illustrated noted.

Adesanya’s softer stance towards the South African

While their rivalry was initially a heated affair, The Last Stylebender seems to be more understanding now.

When talking about the South African champion being possibly injured after a gruelling bout with Strickland, he added that he understood what it was like.

Adesanya had fought with injuries before, which is why he decided to step away from the sport a bit, allowing his body to heal.

"It has healed, and I’m sure there will be more injuries. It just happens through training. Like what we do for work, it’s constantly something," Izzy noted.

How UFC 300’s card looks

With no Middleweight title bout to headline the card, the UFC have instead turned to the Light Heavyweight division.

Alex Pereira will look to defend his title against the division’s former champ, Jamahal Hill, in the main event, while Zhang Weili will defend her Women’s Strawweight title against Yan Xiaonan.

Five fighters who could challenge du Plessis

With South Africa's du Plessis claiming the UFC Middleweight title at UFC 297, there are no shortage of challengers for the belt.

Stillknocks won the belt in the main event bout when he beat Sean Strickland via split decision after a gruelling five rounds.

Sports Brief looks at the five men who could challenge the champion for the title next, including Adesanya and an ex-champ.

Byron Pillay photo
Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.
Israel AdesanyaSouth AfricaNigeria