Israel Adesanya claims Dricus du Plessis turned down UFC 300 title grudge fight: ‘His side didn’t want it’

Israel Adesanya claims Dricus du Plessis turned down UFC 300 title fight they didn't want it

Amid recent claims from City Kickboxing teammate, Dan Hooker regarding his planned involvement in a monstrous UFC 300 card later this year, former middleweight kingpin, Israel Adesanya has claimed arch-rival, Dricus du Plessis and his team rejected an offer to fight him on the pay-per-view card in April.

Adesanya, a former two-time titleholder at the middleweight limit, has been sidelined since he headlined UFC 293 back in September of last year, where he dropped the championship in a shocking upset defeat to Sean Strickland.

The defeat came as Adesanya’s second in his three most recent Octagon walks, while he also set an unwanted record as the first fighter in the promotion’s history to lose a championship twice in the space of a calendar year. 

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And linked with a championship return against Pretoria native, du Plessis ever since the South African’s ascension to the throne at UFC 297 back in January, Nigerian-Kiwi striker, Adesanya had been linked with a headlining bout atop UFC 300 in April against the newly-minted gold holder.

However, earlier this month, UFC CEO, Dana White confirmed how light heavyweight champion, Alex Pereira – an arch-foe of Adesanya would be headlining the monumental card in a title fight against former gold holder, Jamahal Hill.

Israel Adesanya claims he was set to headline UFC 300

As far as Adesanya is concerned, however, initial plans were set for him to fight du Plessis in the main event of UFC 300, until the latter’s team rejected the bout, according to the former.

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“There’s some things that were meant to happen,” Israel Adesanya told Theo Von during a recent interview. “They [the UFC] summoned me – they summoned me – I’m sure this is out there, and Eugene (Bareman) said some stuff. But they summoned me, they summoned me for [UFC] 300. And I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s roll’. But, their side didn’t want it.”

“So I was like, ‘Well, f*ck it, I’m just going to keep’ – yeah, they didn’t want it,” Israel Adesanya explained. “They just fought (Sean) Strickland, so, maybe he [Dricus du Plessis[ had a little niggling injury and stuff. But, hey, we all got niggles and whatnot. But I’ve fought injured for the last how many fights? So, that’s why I took time off, just to let my body heal. And it has healed, and I’m sure there’ll be more injuries – it just happens when you’re training, when you do what we’re doing.

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Do you think Israel Adesanya fights Dricus du Plessis this year?