Dricus Du Plessis Explains Why He Turned Down UFC 300 Bout, Wants to Fight Israel Adesanya in Africa

Dricus Du Plessis Explains Why He Turned Down UFC 300 Bout, Wants to Fight Israel Adesanya in Africa

Byron Pillay
March 6, 2024 at 7:03 PM
  • Dricus du Plessis beat Sean Strickland in January to become the UFC Middleweight champion
  • Israel Adesanya is eager to fight the South African for the title and settle their heated rivalry
  • Du Plessis and The Last Stylebender were earmarked to compete at UFC 300 for the championship

Dricus du Plessis is not going to rush into defending his newly won UFC Middleweight strap.

In January, the South African fighter beat Sean Strickland via split decision at UFC 297 to become the new champion.

While there are no shortage of contenders for his belt, the fight everyone wants to see is du Plessis take on Israel Adesanya.

Dricus du Plessis explained why he turned down the chance to face Israel Adesanya at UFC 300.
South Africa's Dricus du Plessis was earmarked to defend his title against Israel Adesanya at UFC 300, but turned down the offer. Image: Chris Unger.
Source: Getty Images

The two African stars have been engaged in a rivalry but have yet to settle their differences in the cage.

The Last Stylebender recently claimed he was due to challenge Stillknocks for the title at UFC 300 later this year, but the South African declined the fight.

Why du Plessis didn’t accept fight offer

Du Plessis has since responded to Izzy’s statement, saying he doesn’t have to rush into defending his belt.

His last fight was in January, and he was still nursing injuries after that bout.

As noted by MMA News, he explained that he was the champion now and didn’t need to be taking unnecessary risks.

"It (the fight) was on the table, 100 per cent, but one thing people don't realise is why would I go and start a camp once again, injured if I am the champion? Taking risks is one thing; I have been taking risks a lot, but why would I take risks? I'm the champion now, and I can fight when I'm ready,” he said.

He added that Adesanya needed to remember that he no longer calls the shots.

Du Plessis wants Adesanya in Africa

While the duo may not face off at UFC 300, the South African champion still wants to take on Adesanya.

SportsKeeda reports that Stillknocks wants to face The Last Stylebender on African soil.

“The fight's gonna happen. He's been a big mouth about coming to South Africa and dragging carcasses. I mean, that's what he said. So be a man of your word, step up, do it. Let's make UFC Africa. Let's make that happen,” he added.

UFC Chief Executive Officer Dana White has previously stated that he wants to host an event on the continent.

Adesanya was offered title fight

Sports Brief reported how Israel Adesanya was offered a Middleweight title fight at UFC 300.

The Last Stylebender was due to take on Dricus du Plessis in the main event of the marquee event.

The Nigerian has now explained why the fight didn't go ahead despite him agreeing to a bout.

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 AdesanyaNigeriaSouth Africa