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Israel Adesanya: Dricus Du Plessis won’t take fight, Sean Strickland in for next title shot

The UFC middleweight title grudge match between champ Israel Adesanya and challenger Dricus Du Plessis may be scratched before it gets signed.

Adesanya unloaded on Twitter in a video post Wednesday, saying the South African challenger hurt his foot and can’t fight him at UFC 293 in September. As a result, he said top middleweight contender Sean Strickland is now his first choice, and Du Plessis steps back in line.

I don’t even know how to start this, but ‘Dricus du P****,’ you f****** b****. [Du Plessis said], ‘Oh, all he had to do is put some gloves [on], I was ready to go again.’ No, you weren’t, you’re a b****. That’s why you’re not taking this fight. Your foot’s sore. N****, my knee was jacked, too, from my last fight. Guess what I did? I showed up, because that’s what a f****** champion does. Championship-caliber, built different. A lot of you fighters talk about, ‘Oh I’ll fight anyone, anywhere, anytime.’ No, you won’t. I do. Alex Volkanovski does. We’re built different.

“I’m at the gym right now, about to get some work. So, I’m fighting in Sydney. I don’t give a f*** who. ‘D***less du P****,’ ha-had, d***less, f*** off. You’re out. Strickland, you’re in, let’s do the man-dance, show you how to really dance. But yeah, I’m just tired of all you guys talking s*** about, ‘I can fight, I can fight.’ No you can’t, you p****, you b****.

Adesanya confronted Du Plessis in the cage after the South African’s big win over ex-champ Robert Whittaker at UFC 290, setting up a future title fight he hoped to manifest. Du Plessis got the champ’s attention in all the wrong ways when he said “I’m going to take a belt to Africa. I’m the African fighting in the UFC.”

Adesanya immediately took notice and called out the middleweight challenger for implying he was less African because of his longtime residence in New Zealand. Du Plessis denied he was trying to be divisive, saying media reports misinterpreted what he meant. But when he fought Whittaker at UFC 290, Adesanya was cageside, ready to march into the cage.

Du Plessis said afterward that the champ “behaved like a clown” and promised an easy win over Adesanya.

UFC 293 takes place Sept. 10 at Qudos Arena in Sydney. So far, a headliner has not been confirmed for the event. Adesanya most recently defended his belt in April, knocking out Alex Pereira in a title rematch to reclaim the belt after suffering a knockout loss at UFC 281.

Strickland wowed audiences at UFC Vegas 76 with a knockout of Abusupiyan Magomedov for his second straight win. The performance had many talking about a potential title shot before du Plessis stepped into the spotlight.

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