Dricus Du Plessis is calling bulls— on Israel Adesanya’s claims about some sparring the two did together ten years ago.
Adesanya and Du Plessis have a solid rivalry building, and all Du Plessis needs to do to clinch a title shot against “The Last Stylebender” is get past Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 on July 8th. Adesanya is hopeful that’s what happens. Comments from Du Plessis on what constitutes a real African champion have Izzy ready to “drag his carcass across South Africa.”
More recently, Adesanya brought up some training the two did together.
“I’m coming from China. I was doing kickboxing over there,” Adesanya said during an appearance on Logan Paul’s YouTube channel (via MMA News). “I had no MMA, nothing. I was just kickboxing. I had MMA already, but it wasn’t sharp. It was blunt. My Jiu Jitsu was blunt, very blunt. So, we’re sparring – I don’t know if we did two rounds or one, it’s so long ago as well, this is 2014, so, long ago. I remember like on the grappling he had me. But on striking, I just messed him up.”
In a new interview with The Schmo, Du Plessis counters Adesanya’s version of the story.
“Oh yeah, we trained in Thailand together,” Du Plessis said. “I think I was 19 years old at the time. He had quite a record in MMA already, back then. I was 3-0, I think? Yeah, I was 3-0 when we trained together. He said I beat him in the grappling exchanges. He’s 100 percent correct in that. I did manhandle him in grappling and wrestling exchanges. But we did not do a single round of striking together. Not one.”
“I mean, that was his way of saving himself, saying ‘No, but I beat him in the striking.’ We never did striking together, not one round. When we sparred, we grappled and we wrestled. We never did one single round of striking together. Not as far as I know, and that’s something you would remember, so....”
There’s little relevant information to be gleaned out of any sparring sessions from a decade ago, but it certainly adds more fuel to the fire that is “The Last Stylebender” vs. “Stillknocks” beef.