There were three African UFC champions a year ago. Then there were none, up until Saturday night. Israel Adesanya faced Alex Pereira on Saturday in Miami, Florida, to win the UFC title once again.
Adesanya is of African heritage and was once regarded as the best African combat sports competitor in the world. Now, another African competitor on the UFC roster wants to challenge Adesanya for that title.
Dricus du Plessis is a South African-born UFC middleweight competitor who believes he represents Africa in the octagon. He has set his sights on challenging Israel Adesanya for the title of the best combat sports competitor from Africa.
When Dricus du Plessis first joined the UFC in 2020, he grabbed everyone’s attention right away. He was born and bred in South Africa, and he thinks that his continent of Africa is there to support him from behind. Dricus du Plessis is currently ranked number six in the middleweight division. However, he wants to move up from his present position for the possibility of an African vs. African title match.
Du Plessis has recently spoken extensively on this topic. He has even gone as far as claiming that he and his teammate Cameron Saaimon are the only true African UFC fighters. He also criticised Adesanya and Kamaru Usman by stating that their belts “never came to Africa.”
Adesanya responded to du Plessis’ comments, refusing to mention his name in the press conference. However, he expressed his willingness to face du Plessis in the octagon. Adesanya stated: “If he does work, and I pray to God he keeps winning, I will gladly drag his carcass across South Africa.”
While they wait for a UFC Africa event, Du Plessis is now looking for a title shot against Adesanya on neutral ground.
The UFC had previously shown interest in holding an event in Africa, especially when Adesanya, Usman, and Ngannou were all champions simultaneously. However, the planning process has been slow and the event has yet to materialize. In the meantime, du Plessis sees the opportunity for a showdown with Adesanya as a chance to determine the true African MMA champion.
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