“The UFC Promised Him a Title Fight…” – Dricus Du Plessis Breaks Silence on Khamzat Chimaev’s Title Shot Claims; Drags Israel Adesanya Into Beef

Published 01/12/2024, 8:55 AM EST

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UFC 297 is coming up soon as the first pay-per-view of 2024. Middleweight title contender Dricus du Plessis weighed in on prior talks about Khamzat Chimaev getting a title shot against Sean Strickland ahead of him during a recent interview. The South African also spoke about the possibility of defending the title against Israel Adesanya and ‘Borz’.

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Dricus du Plessis already missed a chance to fight for the title a few months ago due to an injury. Sean Strickland replaced him to hand Israel Adesanya one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Thereafter, Chimaev and ‘Izzy’ were both part of the conversation for a title shot. Let’s see what du Plessis had to say now that he is the number-one contender.

Dricus du Plessis claims Khamzat Chimaev doesn’t deserve a middleweight title shot

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During an interview with ‘MMA Junkie’, Dricus du Plessis, who’s in Toronto preparing for his fight, talked about defending the title against Khamzat Chimaev. According to his knowledge, ‘Borz’ is mostly a welterweight fighter. Even when he fought Kamaru Usman at middleweight, ‘The Nigerian Nightmare’ just made the jump to middleweight for the first time after spending all of his time in the UFC as a welterweight. Du Plessis said, “As far as I know, Khamzat’s a welterweight. What middleweight did he fight? He fought at middleweight, but he fought a welterweight.”

Furthermore, ‘Stillknocks’ even dismissed Chimaev’s win over Gerald Meerschaert, which was a middleweight bout victory. This is because Dricus du Plessis cannot recollect if Meerschaert was ever ranked as a middleweight. “Gerald Meerschaert, I mean, when was that? Where was he ranked? I don’t even know… in my opinion, that makes absolutely no sense,” the South African added. On the other hand, he also gave his take on fighting Israel Adesanya as well. Let’s have a look at that front.

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Title defense against Israel Adesanya “makes sense”

When Dricus du Plessis heard about Khamzat Chimaev getting a title shot, he could not believe it. He doesn’t think he has proven anything worth noticing for him to get a title fight against Sean Strickland. “The UFC promised him a title fight? Where in the world does that happen? And now he says he’s fighting Strickland. No, you’re not,” ‘Stillknocks’ added. Meanwhile, he had a rather different take on the possibility of Chimaev fighting Israel Adesanya.

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Israel Adesanya lost the title in his last fight and could get a title fight on his return. And Dricus du Plessis seemed to agree that fighting him was not a bad idea. They already have a lot of heat between them. But he doubled down on the fact that he doesn’t want to give Chimaev a title shot. “If you get a title shot, I’m the champion. You’re not gonna get a title shot and [him fighting] Israel Adesanya, that makes sense,” he further added.

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Regardless of what lies ahead of his UFC career, Dricus du Plessis is now the contender for the title. While he has shown some tremendous performances of his own, Sean Strickland dominated Israel Adesanya, who’s a legend in his own right. It remains to be seen if ‘Tarzan’ can replicate that performance again or if du Plessis becomes the first South African-born UFC champion.

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Written by:

Himanga Mahanta

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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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