Dricus Du Plessis details why he rejected Israel Adesanya fight offer for UFC 300

By Susan Cox - March 5, 2024

Dricus Du Plessis is detailing why he rejected the offer to fight Israel Adesanya at April’s historic UFC 300 event.

Israel Adesanya and Dricus Du Plessis

UFC 300 takes place of Saturday, April 13th, at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada.

Du Plessis (21-2 MMA) is hot off a split-decision victory over Sean Strickland (28-6 MMA) this past January at UFC 297. With the victory, Du Plessis was crowned the new UFC middleweight champion.

The former champion, Israel Adesanya (24-3 MMA), shared just last week that he had accepted the fight with Dricus Du Plessis for UFC 300, but ‘Stillknocks’ camp turned it down.

Speaking on ‘Theo Von’s’ podcast, Adesanya advised:

“There’s some things that were meant to happen. They summoned me, I’m sure this is out there now … but 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.”

It was during a recent conversation with Cameron Saaiman, that Dricus Du Plessis revealed yes, a title defense against Israel Adesanya was indeed discussed for UFC 300. ‘Stillknocks’ went on to explain what transpired (h/t MMANews):

“With the conversations of 300, that would’ve been a massive fight with me and Izzy. It was on the table, 100 percent, but one thing people don’t realize 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 risk? I’m the champion now, and I can fight when I’m ready. I think Izzy misjudges himself as still being a champion and he’s not.”

It’s true that it would have been a quick turnaround had Du Plessis accepted the fight, and with injuries sustained in the fight with Strickland back in January, why risk losing his recently acquired title.

There is little doubt that we will see an Adesanya vs. Du Plessis fight in the future, but not at UFC 300.

Do you agree with Dricus Du Plessis that, as champion, he’s now in a position to ‘fight when I’m ready’?

Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!

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Dricus du Plessis Israel Adesanya UFC UFC 300