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Israel Adesanya announces UFC 305 clash with Dricus du Plessis

Israel Adesanya

It’s official: Israel Adesanya will fight Dricus du Plessis for the middleweight title at UFC 305 in Perth this August.

Adesanya announced the fight himself on Monday with a cryptic message on social media. The post was accompanied by an image featuring the words, “UFC 305: du Plessis vs. Adesanya August 17”.

While no fights had been officially announced for UFC 305 at the time, UFC CEO Dana White has since confirmed that Adesanya’s news is correct.

“Apparently, he already announced his own fight,” laughed White.

“He’s fighting in Perth. Du Plessis. 17 August in Perth. Now it’s official.

“He didn’t tell us. I saw that he had announced it. There it is. It’s true.”

Plenty of bad blood between African champions

While Adesanya and du Plessis have not fought before in the UFC, there is plenty of bad blood between the pair.

When du Plessis defeated Sean Strickland to claim UFC middleweight title, the South African declared that he was “the first real African champion”.

Adesanya — who was born in Nigeria — had already been champion by that stage, not to mention Cameroonian-born Francis Ngannou.

Unsurprisingly, du Plessis’ statement annoyed Adesanya, with the pair having a heated faceoff last July.

In his announcement of their UFC 305 meeting, Adesanya made reference to the argument.

“The SUN of Africa is the same sun that lights up our planet,” the former middleweight champion said on X.

“The SUN will set and will rise again until you walk into it.

“The SUN, enjoy while it shines. Darkness falls when it’s gone.”

Adesanya vs du Plessis odds too soon to call

While White has confirmed the fight is official, it’s too soon for UFC bookies to be offering odds on Adesanya vs du Plessis.

When they do, chances are the betting markets will be tight between the pair.

Adesanya has a 13-3 record in the promotion and was once seen as the UFC’s most dominant champion. While a shock loss to Strickland robbed him of his belt, the Kiwi is still an elite-level striker.

Du Plessis, on the other hand, is yet to taste defeat in the UFC.

The South African is 7-0 after defeating Strickland in the American’s first title defence. He’s taken down some quality in his past three fights, finishing Derek Brunson and Robert Whittaker ahead of his title bout.

The location of the fight means both Adesanya and du Plessis can expect plenty of crowd support. Perth has a strong New Zealand expat population, while it also boasts more residents of South African heritage than any other major city in the country.

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