With Sean Strickland defeating Adesanya this past Saturday at UFC 293 to claim the middleweight title, the looming Du Plessis-Adesanya grudge matchappears to be on hold as the South African contender declared on social media that his immediate goal is to challenge the new champion.
“Myself and [Strickland] had the biggest upsets of 2023 and I am undoubtedly the No. 1 contender, so let’s settle this like men whenever, wherever,” Du Plessis wrote. “After that, I’ll give [Adesanya] his well-deserved hiding on my home soil South Africa.”
Du Plessis seemingly cemented a title shot with a dominant second-round TKO victory over former champion Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 in Las Vegas this past July. The win improved Du Plessis’ UFC record to 6-0 and his overall pro record to 20-2.
Immediately after that result was read, Adesanya entered the cage and had a heated confrontation with Du Plessis, creating the expectation that the two could fight at UFC 293. However, an injury prevented Du Plessis from making the quick turnaround, which led to Strickland getting the call.
Du Plessis now aims to defeat Strickland and face Adesanya at a later date.
“That being said, don’t want to beat the amateur that fought on Saturday night,” Du Plessis wrote. “I want to beat the best [Adesanya] so take some time and get your s*** together.”
UFC President Dana White may require some convincing if Du Plessis’ plan is to come to fruition. At the UFC 293 post-fight presser, White expressed interest in an immediate rematch between Strickland and Adesanya.