Khamzat Chimaev or Israel Adesanya? Dricus Du Plessis Takes a Call on His Future Opponent After Sean Strickland Fight at UFC 297- “Hasn’t Deserved That Title”

Published 01/16/2024, 12:23 AM EST

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Dricus du Plessis may be fighting for the title this weekend, but he’s already getting questions about title defenses. During a recent appearance on ‘The MMA Hour’, the middleweight title contender spoke about the possibility of fighting either Israel Adesanya or Khamzat Chimaev after he’s done with Sean Strickland at UFC 297.

Khamzat Chimaev made the switch back to middleweight when he came back at UFC 294 and defeated Kamaru Usman. That seemingly brought him into discussions for a title fight. Meanwhile, Dricus du Plessis gave his take on Chimaev’s title shot aspirations and it was not in ‘Borz’s favor.

“Either or” for Dricus du Plessis


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When seasoned combat sports journalist Ariel Helwani asked about Dricus du Plessis fighting Israel Adesanya and Khamzat Chimaev next, the South African appeared to have no problems fighting any of them. He said, “Ya, I think both make sense… for them, it would be either or, in my opinion.” 

Moreover, du Plessis cleared out two things about Khamzat Chimaev. Firstly, he shared the same sentiment as fellow middleweight Bo Nickal that the Emirati fighter doesn’t deserve a title shot. This is especially because Chimaev hasn’t had many fights in the middleweight division. Furthermore, ‘Borz’ returned to middleweight in a fight against Kamaru Usman, who was a welterweight prior to UFC 294.


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“Do I think Khamzat deserves it? No. Definitely not. Just in terms of fighting at middleweight,” ‘Stillknocks’ stated. Secondly, Dricus du Plessis also talked about Khamzat Chimaev’s fighting ability, which he praised. Nevertheless, the South African stressed that ‘Borz’ hasn’t done much to prove that he is worthy of a title shot although he claimed that it was just his opinion.

“Is he a good fighter? Khamzat’s a great fighter. He just hasn’t deserved that title [shot]. But that’s my opinion so it doesn’t really matter,” Dricus du Plessis added. Given that he mentioned what he had to say about Khamzat Chimaev was his personal opinion, he also confirmed that he is willing to do what he’s asked to. Let’s have a look at that.

‘Stillknocks’ is okay with whoever the UFC puts in front of him

Not only Israel Adesanya and Khamzat Chimaev, but Dricus du Plessis is ready to fight anyone. He is seemingly comfortable going down the path that the UFC carves for him after he becomes the champion. Du Plessis further stated, “[If] the UFC wants to do it that’s what they’re going to do and then I’ll be happy to do it.”


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However, those discussions will have to take the backseat for the moment. Dricus du Plessis wants no distractions heading into the championship fight this weekend. “I really do not care. They can give me whoever they want but according to me, there is no life after Saturday. I’ll figure that out as soon as my hand gets raised,” the South African further added.

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UFC 297 will be an important day for both Sean Strickland and Dricus du Plessis. While the former will be defending his title for the first time, the latter will be in his first title fight. It will be interesting to see if ‘Tarzan’ can replicate the same kind of dominating performance that won him the title or if du Plessis fulfills his dream of capturing gold in the biggest MMA organization in the world.


Written by:

Himanga Mahanta


One take at a time

I am a UFC writer at EssentiallySports, and my passion for MMA and a deep understanding of its intricacies have allowed me to churn out more than 1000 articles. I have covered numerous UFC events and fighters, with the aim of bringing my readers closer to the action and the athletes they admire. I have developed a knack for providing analytical coverage of breaking stories from the world of MMA.
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