Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is set to be the headline fighter at the UFC’s upcoming event in Sydney in September. However, his opponent will not be South African Dricus Du Plessis. UFC president Dana White recently announced that Adesanya will defend his title against American Sean Strickland in the main event of UFC 293 on September 10 in Sydney.
Many MMA fans were hoping to see Adesanya face off against Du Plessis, especially after their in-cage exchange following Du Plessis’ surprise win over Australia’s Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 in July.
Unfortunately, Du Plessis decided to prioritize his health and rest a foot injury he sustained during the Whittaker fight. As a result, he will have his title shot early next year instead.
This decision complicated the UFC’s plans for the Sydney event, as they scrambled to find a suitable headline fight. Despite the setback, fans remained excited, and tickets for UFC 293 reportedly sold out in under 30 minutes.
Adesanya’s rivalry with Du Plessis dates back to previous post-fight interviews when Du Plessis claimed he would be the first “real” African UFC champion. His reasoning was that fighters like Adesanya, Kamaru Usman, and Francis Ngannou, who were born in Africa, now reside elsewhere, while he still lives in South Africa. This comment did not sit well with Adesanya, leading to their heated exchange after his victory over Whittaker.
The UFC initially wanted to schedule the Adesanya vs. Du Plessis fight for a later date, but Adesanya insisted on staying on the Sydney card. As a result, Strickland was offered the opportunity to fight the champion. The announcement of the fight was delayed while the UFC sorted out Strickland’s travel documents.
Adesanya, 34, last competed in April, scoring a second-round knockout victory over Alex Pereira at UFC 287. Pereira had previously defeated Adesanya via TKO to win the middleweight belt in November.
Strickland, 32, is currently on a two-fight win streak after suffering two consecutive losses. His most recent victory came in July with a second-round TKO win over Abus Magomedov.
Denial of responsibility! SamacharCentrl is an automatic aggregator of Global media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, and all materials to their authors. For any complaint, please reach us at – [email protected]. We will take necessary action within 24 hours.
Hasibur Rahaman is a passionate sports journalist. He covers everything from cricket to field hockey, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis of sporting events, both within India and on the international stage.