Dricus du Plessis is a South African-born UFC middleweight competitor who aims to challenge Adesanya for the title of the best African combat sports competitor.
Du Plessis claims he represents Africa in the octagon, and he thinks he and his (very white) teammate are the only true African UFC stars.
Adesanya expressed his willingness to face du Plessis in the octagon while refusing to say his name.
Du Plessis is looking for a title shot against Adesanya on neutral ground while they wait for a UFC Africa event. UFC is reportedly targeting a Senegal inaugural event.
The UFC had previously shown interest in holding an event in Africa, especially when Adesanya, Usman, and Ngannou were all champions, but it has yet to materialize. Usman and Adesanya are of Nigerian origins but neither lives in Africa. Usman immigrated to the US and wrestled in highschool and college for Nebraska (hence why Ben Askren called him Marty Usman). Francis Ngannou is Cameroonian. He initially escaped to France in his early 20s and then thanks to his MMA career moved to Las Vegas.
Dricus du Plessis coach went one step further and wrote a questionable post:
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?”