Article by Safeer MS,
A split decision victory was edged out by South African middleweight Dricus Du Plessis over Sean Strickland at UFC 297. Consequently, the South African has now set his sights on Israel Adesanya, the former middleweight champion. Previously, Du Plessis and Adesanya had one of the most intense rivalries in the division. They seemed poised to settle it at UFC 293. However, Du Plessis had to withdraw due to injury. This led to Adesanya facing Strickland at UFC 293 instead. Strickland’s victory over Adesanya for the title dashed hopes of a fight between Adesanya and Du Plessis. Nevertheless, with Du Plessis calling out „The Last Stylebender“, the rivalry has been reignited.
Following his loss to Strickland, Adesanya imposed a hiatus on himself. He was not in the mood to return to the octagon. However, he has recently made it clear that his return is imminent. His recent social media post suggested a fight with Du Plessis. Therefore, this is likely to be the next fight in the UFC’s middleweight division. Adesanya had a long reign as the undisputed champion. Yet, he lost the title at UFC 281 to Alex Pereira. He would reclaim the title from Pereira at UFC 287.
In the UFC, Du Plessis remains undefeated in seven fights. These fights have produced five finishes. An accomplished kickboxer, Du Plessis was a two-division champion at EFC; welterweight and middleweight. His trade was also plied at KSW. There, he was the welterweight champion. He defeated Roberto Soldic, a major name in European MMA. In the UFC, Du Plessis aspires to be a double champion. He has already expressed interest in fighting Alex Pereira for it.
Dana White expressed his belief that Sean Strickland had won the fight. However, he was not in favor of an immediate rematch. He envisioned a future where Strickland and Du Plessis would fight again. Therefore, Strickland would need to fight one or two more times before getting a title shot. Alex Pereira was in Strickland’s corner for the fight. Training with Pereira is expected to improve Strickland’s chances of reclaiming the title.