Dricus du Plessis Updates on UFC 300 Availability, Predicts Israel Adesanya as Next Opponent

UFC middleweight champion Dricus du Plessis may not headline UFC 300 due to ongoing recovery from injuries, and is instead focusing on bringing a UFC event to Africa.

Well, looks like Dricus du Plessis might not be the main event at UFC 300. Who’d have thought?

The current UFC middleweight champ admitted this week that he’s still unsure about his first title defense date. Why? He’s still nursing a few injuries from his split decision win over Sean Strickland at UFC 297 in January.

“When will it be?” du Plessis mused during an interview with South African radio station, Jacaranda FM. “At the moment, we’re still sorting out some scans and figuring out what’s next after the fight. Can we fight soon? Is that even possible? It’d be fantastic to get that sorted, but we’ve got to think about the longevity of my career too.”

The champ’s been pretty busy over the last year and a half. “We rushed to get this belt, took every opportunity. Now, we need to be smart and defend it when it suits us,” he added.

Du Plessis, now 30, has an impressive 7-0 record in his UFC career since his 2020 debut. His journey to the title saw him knock out ex-champ Robert Whittaker, and score stoppage wins over Derek Brunson and Darren Till. His win over Strickland made him the first South African UFC champ.

That’s a point of immense pride for du Plessis. After his title win, he got a hero’s welcome back in South Africa. His goal? To bring a UFC event to Africa. He told Jacaranda FM that UFC Africa is now his “100 percent” focus, not headlining UFC 300.

“UFC 300 will be a milestone,” du Plessis acknowledged. “UFC 100, 200, and now 300, they’re all massive events. The pay-per-views are insane, the hype is huge. I’d love to be part of it, but not if I’m not fully recovered. Defending my title is more important than being on this milestone event.”

“The real milestone will be UFC in Africa, specifically South Africa. I can’t even tell you how long I’d wait to make that happen and defend my belt on home soil. That’s history. UFC 300 is just a number. It’s not as massive as UFC Africa.”

UFC 300 is set for April 13 in Las Vegas. Still no headlining bout though.

As for his first title defense, du Plessis still has his sights set on Israel Adesanya. “That’s probably going to be the next fight,” he said. But, he’s also open to a rematch with Strickland if that’s what the fans want.

“I wouldn’t mind, if that’s what the UFC wants,” du Plessis stated. “As a champ, you want to give the people the fight they want to see. I don’t want to pick any fights because there’s going to be an easier fight. If you want to be the best, you have to fight the toughest guy in the division. So if the UFC wants Strickland two, I’m completely happy with that. If the fans say, no, that’s the fight they want, let’s do it. I honestly think the second fight will be easier than the first one.”


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