- Adesanya and Du Plessis were on a collision course before Strickland’s upset at UFC 293.
- Daniel Cormier strongly advocates for preserving the Adesanya-Du Plessis matchup.
- Cormier believes a fight against Du Plessis could motivate Adesanya more than his previous bout with Strickland.
- Regardless of the outcome of Du Plessis’ fight against Strickland, the matchup with Adesanya holds significant title implications.
- MMA fans expect Adesanya’s return and Du Plessis’ upcoming clash with Strickland to see how the middleweight division unfolds.
- The Adesanya-Du Plessis bout represents unfinished business that could define the middleweight landscape in the UFC.
In a recent turn of events, former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is expected to make a comeback in 2024, setting the stage for a potential blockbuster clash with Dricus Du Plessis.
The expectation for this matchup has been brewing since their paths first crossed when Adesanya held the middleweight belt. However, Sean Strickland’s upset victory over Adesanya at UFC 293 momentarily derailed these plans, leaving fans in suspense.
Dricus Du Plessis (20-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) and Adesanya were once on a collision course, and the animosity between them was palpable.
Despite Strickland’s unexpected triumph, the desire to witness the resolution of this grudge match has not diminished. Adesanya’s surprising loss prompted him to take a hiatus, but recent hints suggest that fight fans might see him back in action sooner than expected.
Daniel Cormier’s Take
Former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier has weighed in on the situation, expressing his eagerness to see Du Plessis and Adesanya settle their score inside the octagon.
According to a report by MMA Junkie, Cormier believes that the expected matchup between these two warriors should be preserved at all costs, irrespective of the outcome of Du Plessis’ title challenge against Strickland at UFC 297 on January 20, 2024.
Cormier emphasizes the magnitude of the Adesanya-Du Plessis bout, stating, “That build was gonna be so crazy. If you watch Strickland fight Du Plessis (at UFC 297), you still preserve that matchup, regardless, for Adesanya, right? Du Plessis wins: Title fight for Adesanya. Build that whole thing. Du Plessis loses: Fight vs. Adesanya. Build that whole thing.”
While Adesanya’s loss to Strickland might have temporarily shifted the narrative, Cormier envisions the South African powerhouse, Du Plessis, potentially becoming the titleholder. This sets the stage for an intriguing matchup that fight fans and pundits alike have been clamoring for.
Cormier’s perspective is clear: “You save that matchup regardless because if you put him in there with Khamzat (Chimaev), it’s a great fight. It makes all the sense in the world. It would seem like a No. 1 contenders fight. But if Khamzat gets through him, now you might lose that fight with Du Plessis if he wins. You save Adesanya-Du Plessis at all costs.”
Cormier believes that a potential showdown with Du Plessis could serve as the perfect motivation for Adesanya, who seemed less inspired in his previous bout against Strickland.
The former champion, known for his striking prowess, may find renewed vigor in facing a formidable adversary like Du Plessis.
“I believe that one will motivate Adesanya. Adesanya did not seem motivated for Strickland. He thought he was gonna run through Sean Strickland. Honestly, I’ve heard stories now out of Sean Strickland’s gym.
The improvement this dude is making daily, I hear, is unbelievable. So if anyone’s not motivated for that dude, it’s a problem. He has this problem of getting overlooked, and it’s costing people,” Cormier remarked.
As the UFC landscape evolves, fight fans eagerly await Adesanya’s return and the outcome of Du Plessis’ clash with Strickland. Whether Du Plessis secures the title or not, the prospect of a matchup with Adesanya remains a tantalizing storyline in the middleweight division.
The potential showdown between Dricus Du Plessis and Israel Adesanya has captured the imagination of MMA enthusiasts worldwide. Daniel Cormier’s call to “save it at all costs” underscores the significance of this matchup.
While the UFC’s middleweight division experiences a changing of the guard, the unfinished business between Du Plessis and Adesanya promises to be a pivotal chapter in the storied history of the promotion.