(Video) Israel Adesanya confronts du Plessis after stunning win over Whittaker at UFC 290

The middleweight division witnessed a major upset as Dricus du Plessis delivered a second-round knockout victory against former titleholder Robert Whittaker at UFC 290. The surprise win caught the attention of Israel Adesanya, who was seated cageside and is set to face du Plessis in his next middleweight title defense.

As du Plessis celebrated his remarkable triumph, the camera captured Adesanya’s intense gaze fixed upon the rising star, signaling the brewing rivalry between the two middleweights.

During an octagon interview with Joe Rogan, du Plessis emphasized his superior cardio conditioning. However, tensions escalated as Adesanya entered the cage to confront his “African brother,” making it clear that the confrontation would remain verbal and non-physical.

Adesanya has been known to spark controversy with his statements about race, which have played a significant role in his rivalry with du Plessis. The New Zealand-born of Nigerian descent has questioned the African representation of not only himself but also former champions Francis Ngannou and Kamaru Usman.

Despite their African heritage, Adesanya, Usman, and Ngannou have spent significant time training and residing abroad. This has led du Plessis to challenge their claims of African identity while not being actively based on the continent.

In March, du Plessis raised the question, “Did those belts ever go to Africa?” referring to the titles held by Adesanya, Usman, and Ngannou. He pointed out that the belts had primarily been defended in the United States and New Zealand, while he plans to bring a belt back to Africa. As a native African, du Plessis proudly represents his home continent alongside his teammate Cameron Saaiman.

The confrontation between Adesanya and du Plessis adds further intrigue to the upcoming middleweight title bout.

Fans can anticipate an intense clash between two skilled guys driven by a mix of personal rivalry and championship aspirations.