Adesanya Discloses UFC 300 Main Event Bid: Du Plessis’ Team Declined High-Stakes Showdown”

MMA Israel Adesanya Fight

In the lead-up to the highly anticipated UFC 300 on April 13, event organizers were in a race against time to secure a headline bout, with Israel Adesanya disclosing that he was approached for a showdown against reigning middleweight champion Dricus du Plessis.

Speaking on Theo Von’s podcast, Adesanya revealed the behind-the-scenes negotiations, stating, “They summoned me, I’m sure this is out there now… but they summoned me for [UFC] 300 and I was like ‘yep, let’s roll.’ But their side didn’t want it. They didn’t want it. They just fought [Sean] Strickland so maybe he had a little bit of niggly injuries and stuff but we’ve all got niggles and what not.”

Adesanya pointed out the likely factor that contributed to the declined fight, emphasizing the toll du Plessis endured during a challenging five-round battle against Sean Strickland at UFC 297 in January. The swift turnaround from that intense encounter likely posed challenges for du Plessis to make a return to the octagon in April.

This situation mirrors a previous instance when du Plessis, despite securing a knockout victory against former champion Robert Whittaker in July, faced a setback in securing his first title shot. A foot injury prevented him from facing Adesanya two months later, with Strickland stepping in and achieving a remarkable upset to become the new champion.