Despite a wild (and ugly) faceoff in the cage at UFC 290 earlier this month (watch it), Israel Adesanya and Dricus Du Plessis will not be fighting when “The Last Stylebender” defends his Middleweight title at UFC 293 in September.
That’s the word direct from Adesanya himself, who ripped into Du Plessis for being unwilling to fight again in eight weeks. Du Plessis’ team has cited a foot injury that “DDP” carried into his fight with Robert Whittaker at UFC 290. And, in general, Du Plessis doesn’t sound like a man in a big rush now that he’s positioned himself nicely for a 185-pound title shot by stopping Whittaker (watch it).
In an interview with his teammate, Cameron Saaiman, Du Plessis discussed the big win and his plans following it. None of their talk signaled any interest in immediately jumping back into the fray to challenge Adesanya on the champ’s timeline.
“I want to do a holiday, I definitely want to do a trip,” Du Plessis said. “It’s just hard right now because there’s a lot of work to be done. People think that after the fight [it’s easy], there’s a lot of hard work that starts after the fight that’s your responsibility. Obviously, with the gym and making sure that I help the guys at the gym that helped me prepare. And obviously there’s a lot of responsibilities to take care of in terms of media, interviews, all that kind of stuff. It’s great, but I’m definitely going to have to go on a little holiday.
“I’ve been active,” he continued. “We’ve been active, very active, fighting the whole time. And you need to celebrate these moments. People, that’s what I thought when I landed on home soil again. Everybody starts talking about what’s next. Adesanya? And I’m like, ‘Woah, I just beat Robert Whittaker, one of the greatest fighters ever. And one of my heroes. I’m not going to be talking about the other fight right now. I want to, just for this week, give me, to celebrate this.’”
“Stillknocks” suggested it would take a week just to shake off the jetlag from traveling between South Africa and Las Vegas. Once that’s done, he wants another week to chill and celebrate a special anniversary.
“Next week I want to go for a week, take a week and go recharge the batteries because this is also, in July, in seven days, marks my tenth year as a professional fighter,” he explained.
It must be a good feeling to be sitting right on the verge of a UFC title shot as your 10-year fight anniversary hits. UFC is currently looking at Israel Adesanya vs. Sean Strickland as a title fight for UFC 293, giving “Stillknocks” a good amount of time to rest, recover and prepare for his crack at the Middleweight title.
And, perhaps most important, it gives Adesanya more time to stew and get irritated.
For more on UFC 293 and Adesanya’s possible showdown with Strickland “Down Under” click here.