Undisputed middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya has called for surging South African contender, Dricus du Plessis to “please win” in his upcoming UFC 290 title-eliminator against former division champion, Robert Whittaker in July, as he looks to fight the #6 ranked contender next.

Over the course of the weekend, UFC president, Dana White confirmed a high-stakes addition to this summer’s UFC 290 card during International Fight Week – with an official middleweight title-eliminator between the above-mentioned, Whittaker, and du Plessis added to the July pay-per-view.

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Furthermore, White confirmed that the victor of the T-Mobile Arena clash in Las Vegas, Nevada – would then go on to fight undisputed middleweight titleholder, Adesanya later this year in a return to Sydney, Australia for the promotion.

Reclaiming the undisputed middleweight crown at UFC 287 earlier this month, Nigerian-Kiwi striker, Israel Adesanya landed a stunning second round knockout win over Alex Pereira in the pair’s championship rematch. 

In the immediate aftermath of the title reclamation, City Kickboxing staple, Adesanya welcomed a future fight with former KSW champion, du Plessis – claiming he would drag the Pethora native’s “carcass” across his native South Africa – urging him to continue his promotional-perfect run.

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In the midst of a five-fight undefeated run since his transition to the UFC back in 2020, du Plessis most recently landed impressive stoppage wins over former welterweight title challenger, Darren Till, and in March, stopped common-foe, Derek Brunson. 

Israel Adesanya urges Dricus du Plessis to win at UFC 290 in July

Welcoming the possibility of a fresh matchup against du Plessis – having twice previously landed victories over the aforenoted, Whittaker in championship fights, Adesanya urged the South African to win at UFC 290 in July.

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“Please win,” Israel Adesanya tweeted in response to Dricus du Plessis overnight. 

As for Whittaker, the former undisputed middleweight champion rebounded to the winner’s enclosure at UFC Fight Night Paris back in September in a one-sided unanimous decision win over Marvin Vettori in the promotion’s first outing in France. 

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.