Dricus Du Plessis is on the cusp of earning his first career Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title shot.
A Middleweight championship opportunity is expected to await the winner of Du Plessis’ upcoming bout against Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 next weekend (Sat., July 8, 2023) in Las Vegas, Nevada. The champion, Israel Adesanya, has already made it clear that he hopes Du Plessis pulls off the upset, resulting in his chance to “punish” the South Africa native.
“Be careful what you wish for,” Du Plessis told The Schmo. “At the end of the day, I don’t care if he hopes, if he wants it, I’ll win on my terms and it’s imminent like I said. When I fight for the belt, I’m gonna fight Adesanya. He says he’s hoping that I win, that’s good. I don’t need hope. I think the hope is for those that believe winning can happen by accident. I’m not winning by accident or by him hoping. I’m winning because of hard work and because I’m the best fighter.
“He’ll get his shot. He can stand in line,” he continued. “He’s calling me out, I’m not calling him out. So, I’ll be fighting him because that’s what I deserve but he can stand in line just like everybody else and when the time comes, I’ll be fighting him.”
Ahead of the big 185-pound clash, UFC announced it will return to Australia in September 2023 for UFC 293. Ideally, the promotion wants to have Adesanya defend against the winner of Whittaker vs. Du Plessis. Depending on how the fight plays out, recovery time could be a large factor in either man coming out able to properly prepare. If that’s Du Plessis, however, “Still Knocks” will be ready to go right then and there.
“Let’s see if he’s game,” Du Plessis said. “Let’s see if Adesanya is really there when the time comes. The way I see it, I think after Whittaker just give me about five minutes. With the way I’m feeling right now, just give me about five minutes and water then I’ll fight him on the same night. Let’s do it next week, Saturday.”
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 290 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+/ABC at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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