Dricus Du Plessis Criticizes Israel Adesanya’s ‘Clownish’ Behavior at UFC 290; Adesanya Fires Back

Dricus Du Plessis: Israel Adesanya Behaved 'Like a Clown'

Dricus Du Plessis, the number one UFC middleweight contender, downplayed his encounter with champion Israel Adesanya following his victory over Robert Whittaker at UFC 290.

Adesanya entered the octagon after Du Plessis stopped the former champion and unleashed a barrage of explicit language aimed directly at the South African fighter. Although the two didn’t come to blows, the choice of words carried an unpleasant racial undertone, tainting the upcoming fight.

During the post-fight press conference in Las Vegas on Saturday, Du Plessis confidently stated, “You witnessed it tonight, I am prepared. I am prepared for everything he says.”

Adesanya’s Clownish Behavior

Du Plessis criticized Adesanya’s behavior inside the octagon, labeling it as clownish and unbecoming of a champion or a mature man. He stressed the importance of conducting oneself with dignity, especially when there are people who look up to you. Du Plessis firmly believed that his actions and conduct as a gentleman and a respectable man would attract ticket sales.

He expressed his disappointment in Adesanya’s behavior, stating, “That’s not how a champion behaves. That’s not at all how a man behaves. He’s behaving like a child. Conduct yourself like a champion. People are looking up to you, and you’re behaving like that. Suppose that sells tickets, good for him. I’ll sell tickets on my way. I’m a gentleman, a man, and I’ll behave like a man.”

Contrasting Residencies and African Heritage

Du Plessis captured Adesanya’s attention by emphasizing his African residency in his campaign for the championship title. He highlighted the difference between his residency in Africa and Adesanya’s in New Zealand, boldly stating, “That’s an African champion, and that’s who I’ll be.”

Facing criticism regarding his remarks on Adesanya’s African heritage, Du Plessis defended himself by clarifying that he never claimed to be “more African” than the champion. However, this clarification made Adesanya unconvinced and targeted a showdown at UFC 293 in Sydney on September 10th.

Adesanya addressed the issue, saying on The MMA Hour, “I never questioned his ethnicity. I never said he’s not African, even though colonization — we don’t want to go over all that stuff. He is in Africa, he was born in South Africa, and I never questioned that. But the fact that he was a dad, ‘We know who the real African is, I breathe African air,’ all that kind of stuff — how the f are you going to question me, Francis, and Kamaru’s blackness or African-ness? Who the f*** are you? So I had to put that out there. I want to educate him.”


Dricus Du Plessis
Discover the heated confrontation between Dricus Du Plessis and Israel Adesanya at UFC 290, as Du Plessis criticizes Adesanya's clownish behavior. Uncover the contrasting residencies and African heritage debate, leading to a showdown at UFC 293. Get insights into their MMA history and the unwavering resilience of Du Plessis. Find out how he plans to dominate Adesanya in the octagon. Say it to his face

Adesanya’s Provocations and Du Plessis’ Resilience

Adesanya escalated the situation by repeatedly using a racial slur to refer to Du Plessis. Additionally, he mocked the South African fighter by offering a genetic test to prove his Caucasian heritage.

Du Plessis, however, remained unfazed by these provocative acts. He remarked, “It’s usually the contender that goes into the cage, right? So even he sees me as the champion already. He knows I’m the champion, and now that he’s seen me in that cage, he knows what a force I am in there. He could feel the energy, and I could feel how insignificant he is to me when we get into that cage.”

Acknowledging their past encounters in MMA, particularly their sparring sessions in Thailand early in their careers, Adesanya admitted that Du Plessis was superior in the grappling department.

While Du Plessis highlighted his knockout victory over Whittaker as evidence of his striking prowess, he expressed utmost confidence in his ability to dominate Adesanya on the ground. He confidently declared, “I’ll knock him out just like I did tonight. We saw his fight with Alex [Pereira]. If I get him to the floor, it is not even a fight. I will manhandle him. I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again.”

Reaffirming his belief in himself, Du Plessis concluded, “You are as good as your last performance. What did his last performance look like against Whittaker? Yeah, you beat him. It was a close fight. What did my last performance against Whittaker look like? So right now, that’s how I plan on beating him. The same way I beat Whittaker tonight, by implementing the game plan and sticking to my style and doing what we do best, listening to my coaches, listening to my great teammates, coming up with game plans with this awkward style.”

Du Plessis asserted his status as the current number-one contender in the world and demanded the respect he believed he deserved.

For Adesanya, the only way to earn that respect is inside the octagon. The middleweight champion made it clear that he hasn’t forgotten what Du Plessis said, issuing a tweet that read, “Say it to my face.”


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