Dricus Du Plessis gained notoriety in the MMA community for his dismissal of the so-called African Kings. Not so long ago, UFC had a trio of African born UFC champions in Kamaru Usman, Israel Adesanya and Francis Ngannou.
Now Du Plessis is claiming it wasn’t him (or his coach) that brought race into the mix. In an interview with Mahjouri he went on to detail:
“The fact Israel Adesanya brought race into the conversation, that anybody brings race into a conversation like this, that was disgusting,” Du Plessis continued.
“I thought that was terrible. I thought that was taking a step backwards. I was honestly shocked. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it. I couldn’t believe when I heard that race was poured into it. I felt like the world of sports just took a step backwards and that was ridiculous to make it about that. That’s why I was really disappointed.”
“Adesanya as a champion has some sort of responsibility, I think. For him saying that, it doesn’t offend me at all. I’m not offended that at all, at any racial slurs that he called me. It doesn’t offend me. But the fact that’s that example that he’s setting as a champion, I don’t think that belongs to a champion’s character. I don’t believe that’s an issue you wanna send.”
This is fairly hilarious considering his own coach had this to say a while back:
Later that month Helwani put Du Plessis on the spot and asked him to address the coaches remarks:
Dricus Du Plesis told MMA Hour:
“This is me vs. Israel Adesanya. For me, there is no ‘I’m more African, you’re more African,’ I reside in Africa, he doesn’t, that is a fact… He is African, his heritage is African of course, of course, but that does not change the fact that I want to be, and will be, the first Africa-residing champion.”
“Now, it’s something that I don’t condone at all, it’s something that I don’t stand behind at all. That people are making it racial, which is absolutely ridiculous to me, so, they are like, ‘Yeah, you are white, you can’t be African,’ well, can you show me my other passport, please?”
The coach was not enthusiastic about how this was portrayed in the media either and recently accused Helwani of setting up Du Plessis.
While Helwani certainly has his moments, it can be argued Du Plessis started all this trying to fast track his title shot at that infamous presser.
Since 2014, Benny A. King has been fully immersed in the world of combat sports. Starting with a blog about Greco Roman wrestling, Benny’s passion for combat sports has led him to explore various disciplines.