Former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya was not in attendance at UFC 297 as was expected. However, he did not forget to watch the fight, conducting a watch party which he later uploaded on his YouTube channel.
Dricus Du Plessis, the underdog in the fight, defeated Sean Strickland to become the undisputed middleweight champion. Du Plessis’s victory cost Canadian musician Drake, who had bet 700K on Strickland defending the title at UFC 297.
Israel Adesanya’s reaction to Strickland’s defeat to Du Plessis
Israel Adesanya had a hilarious reaction to Sean Strickland’s defeat to Dricus Du Plessis, as he was seen laughing on his YouTube channel.
After Du Plessis was announced the victor, David Adesanya, the younger brother of Israel Adesanya, humorously jabbed at Strickland by saying, “What a reign though… (Sean Strickland’s reign),” eliciting a humorous reaction from the former middleweight champion.
Adesanya is a two-time UFC middleweight champion, a feat nobody has accomplished in the UFC. Moreover, his first title reign lasted three years from October 2019 to November 2022 when he lost the title to Alex Pereira at UFC 281. Adesanya would brutally knock out Pereira in the rematch at UFC 287, only to lose to Sean Strickland in his subsequent fight at UFC 293.
Amidst his title reign, Adesanya unsuccessfully challenged Jan Blachowicz’s light heavyweight title. He was originally supposed to face Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 293 to settle their rivalry, but Strickland replaced the injured Du Plessis and defeat Adesanya.
Dricus Du Plessis talks on bout vs Israel Adesanya
After winning the title at UFC 293, Dricus Du Plessis made his intentions clear as he called out Israel Adesanya. Du Plessis also made his interest in fighting for the light heavyweight clear in his octagon interview with Daniel Cormier. Du Plessis further clarified his upcoming plans in the post-fight interview.
“I don’t want to put a timeline on it, but usually, 300 sounds amazing,” said Du Plessis in the post-fight interview about his intention to fight at UFC 300, the coveted PPV of the UFC. “There are a lot of guys who are going to be fighting, but the fans want to see Israel Adesanya versus Dricus Du Plessis,” Du Plessis further said, explaining why he wants to fight Adesanya next.
“You know, there’s a lot of hype that was already built on it,” Du Plessis went on to say, explaining why the fight is the best one for the division as the duo already have beef. Adesanya and Du Plessis already faced off inside the octagon at UFC 290 after Du Plessis knocked out Whittaker in a number one contender fight.
Khamzat Chimaev tweeted out his interest in fighting Du Plessis for the title but the South African does not seem to be interested in it. However, Dana White promised a title shot for Chimaev after he defeated Kamaru Usman at UFC 294 in a short-notice fight.
Do you think Israel Adesanya will become a champion for the third time in the UFC? Leave your prediction below!