Dricus Du Plessis refuses to walk back comments: ‘(Adesanya’s) referred to himself as a Kiwi, Chinese, and Nigerian’

UFC middleweight contender Dricus Du Plessis is still enjoying the publicity stemming from his comments about being an actual African in the UFC.

Du Plessis’s remarks sparked controversy after he expressed his desire to become the first African-born champion in the UFC. The statement led to a conflict considering there were  previous African-born champions, such as Francis Ngannou, Kamaru Usman, and Adesanya. However all of them reside and train outside of the continent.

Although Du Plessis clarified that his intention was to be the first champion born and training out of Africa, the damage had already been done.

Both Adesanya and Usman expressed their displeasure with Du Plessis’s comments. Adesanya also stated his interest in facing Du Plessis in his next bout, even using the term ‘c**ck*r’ to describe him.

Speaking to Submission Radio, Du Plessis addressed the situation and emphasized that his comments were not meant to be disrespectful. He clarified that he was stating facts and had never claimed anyone to be “less African.”

Du Plessis said: “I have never said the words ‘more African’ in my life. I didn’t say they were not African, I stated facts,” Du Plessis said. “I am the only one in title contention, ever, who was born in Africa, lives in Africa, and trains here every single day, I never backpedalled. I’m sticking with that because that is the facts. I don’t care how it came across.”

Du Plessis went on to talk about Adesanya saying: “It seems to have struck a nerve with Israel Adesanya. He likes to be whatever fits him best in terms of nationality.”

“He’s referred to himself as a Kiwi, he’s referred to himself as Chinese, he’s referred to himself as a Nigerian. At the end of the day, he was born In Africa, he is African, but he does not reside here. That is the fact. That’s what makes me and him different. My success is coming out of Africa.”

Du Plessis’s next challenge will be against former champion Robert Whittaker on the UFC 290 card in July. At a recent press conference Dana White refused to confirm that the outcome ouf this bout will determine Adesanya’s next opponent. Adesanya is rumored to be coming back in the late summer, early fall.