‘Save it at all costs!’ Daniel Cormier wants UFC to ‘preserve’ Israel Adesanya vs. Dricus Du Plessis matchup

‘Save it at all costs!’ Daniel Cormier wants UFC to ‘preserve’ Israel Adesanya vs. Dricus Du Plessis matchup

  • MMA News
  • janvier 2, 2024
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Israel Adesanya will need a dance partner upon his eventual return.

The former two-time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight champion is in the midst of some time away to heal nagging injuries after he dropped his title to Sean Strickland by unanimous decision (watch highlights) at UFC 293 in September 2023. “The Last Stylebender” has jokingly teased his comeback for 2027, but more than likely will fight in 2024.

By the time he’s back, Adesanya’s rival, Dricus Du Plessis, might be the titleholder if Du Plessis can get past Strickland at UFC 297 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada this month (Sat., Jan. 20, 2023). Even if Du Plessis can’t bring the title back to South Africa, Daniel Cormier wants to see the promotion put the match up together as it was expected for UFC 293 originally.

“That build was gonna be so crazy,” Cormier said on his YouTube channel. “So, if you watch Strickland fight Du Plessis in January, you still preserve that match up regardless for Adesanya, right? Du Plessis wins, title fight for Adesanya. Build that whole thing. Du Plessis loses, fight vs. Adesanya, build that whole thing. You save that match up regardless because if you put him in there with Khamzat [Chimaev], it’s a great fight. It makes all the sense in the world, it would seem like a No. 1 contenders fight, but if Khamzat gets through him, now you might lose that fight with Du Plessis if he wins. Save Du Plessis-Adesanya at all costs.”

Adesanya has been one of the most active fighters on UFC’s roster since his debut in February 2018. In his 16 fights, Adesanya has only lost thrice (24-3 overall). Against Strickland, the legendary striker uncharacteristically struggled to find any effective offense. While that can be attributed to Strickland’s exceptional defense, Cormier believes it may have been a mental issue for the former titlist.

“I believe that’s one that will motivate Adesanya,” Cormier said. “Adesanya did not seem motivated for Strickland. He thought he was gonna run through Sean Strickland. Honestly, I’ve heard stories now out of Sean Strickland’s gym, the improvement this dude is making, I hear, is unbelievable. So, if anyone’s not motivated for that dude. That’s a problem. He has this problem of getting overlooked and it’s costing people.”

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