Israel Adesanya vs. Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 300? Izzy ‘not ready to go’
With Dricus Du Plessis taking the middleweight title off Sean Strickland at UFC 297, the stage is now set for a ‘Battle of Africa’ with Israel Adesanya. But those hoping the fight will top off UFC 300 may be disappointed.
New champion Du Plessis said he was ready to go for the UFC’s big historic 300th pay-per-view in April. Unfortunately, it sounds like Adesanya is the one who won’t be ready for that date.
“I’ve inquired multiple times about Izzy leading up to all this,” MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani reported during The Ringer UFC 297 post-fight show. “And I’m repeatedly told ‘Not ready to go at UFC 300’ … Maybe the UFC now says ‘All right, how do we make this right, how do we get you to come fight at UFC 300?’ I don’t know.”
“The Last Stylebender” has been slowly turning up the heat on return talks. He told Teddy Atlas that ‘the beast was back,’ and that 2024 would see him respond to ‘unanswered questions.’ Unfortunately, he also revealed in another interview that he was rehabbing an undisclosed injury and wouldn’t be able to return to the gym until the end of February at the earliest.
Not a great sign for UFC 300 on April 13th. And then Adesanya was nowhere to be seen at UFC 297. There was no big in-cage showdown with the winner of Strickland vs. Du Plessis. At this point, all signs point to no regarding the New Zealander atop that card.
On the plus side, Izzy sounds eager to fight Du Plessis as soon as possible. In a social media post shortly after Du Plessis’ championship win, Israel declared “Our paths are destined to cross again. Stay tuned for the next episode.”
Just one more big fight for fans to look forward to in 2024 … just not in time for April, most likely.