UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya will have to wait for his grudge match with Dricus du Plessis as the South African fighter is now set to miss their proposed bout in Australia due to a foot injury.
After Du Plessis’ stunning first-round victory over Robert Whittaker in their unofficial number one contender fight at UFC 290 earlier on July 9, the stage was seemingly set for an explosive middleweight title showdown at Sydney’s UFC 293 on September 10.
Adesanya even entered the Octagon to confront his newest contender in a racially charged face-off, adding further intensity to the impending clash.
Despite the UFC yet to officially announce the bout, it was widely anticipated that the match between Adesanya and Du Plessis would fill the marquee slot in the promotion’s first Australasian event since 2020.
However, a rant on social media by Adesanya on Thursday revealed the unfortunate news of Du Plessis’ injury, ruling him out of contention for the short turnaround title fight.
The tension between the two fighters had been building, with Du Plessis’ claims of being the “real African” in the UFC drawing the anger of the Nigerian-born fighter, whose family had immigrated to New Zealand when he was young. Adesanya, visibly upset with Du Plessis’ withdrawal, wasted no time in calling for a replacement, challenging sixth-ranked Sean Strickland to step up and take the fight.
“I don’t even know how to start this, but Dricus DuP*ssy, you f**king b*tch,” Adesanya said on his Twitter post.
“Your foot’s sore? My knee was jacked for my last fight. Guess what I did? I showed up, because that’s what a f**king champion does. Championship caliber, built different.”