Dricus Du Plessis Defends Belt at UFC 305 Against Israel Adesanya

Israel Adesanya, UFC 276
Israel Adesanya, UFC 276 Ceremonial Weigh-Ins. Credit: Alex Behunin/CagesidePress

Israel Adesanya will take on Dricus Du Plessis for the UFC middleweight championship at UFC 305. The fight is scheduled for five rounds and goes down on August 17, 2024 in Perth, Western Australia at RAC Arena.

This bout has been rumored for a while. On Monday the news was confirmed by Israel Adesanya (via a post on his Instagram) with a poster simply reading, “Never stole shine, never lost mine.” Adesnaya captioned the post with, “The SUN of Africa is the same sun that lights up our planet,” adding with, “The SUN will set and will rise again until you walk into it. The SUN, enjoy while it shines. Darkness falls when it’s gone.”

The paths of these elite fighters have already crossed once, as Adesanya climbed into the cage after Dricus Du Plessis walked through former champ, Robert Whittaker, in July of last year. Nigerian born Adesanya, who resides in New Zealand and South African born Dricus Du Plessis, engaged in an uncomfortable verbal spat. It’s clear from the pair’s conversation and subsequent comments after, that the lead up to their August 17th title bout, could get ugly.

Dricus Du Plessis (21-2) won the UFC middleweight belt in a controversial split decision in January against Sean Strickland. ‘Stillknocks” finished former welterweight title challenger, Darren Till, UFC veteran, Derek Brunson, and former middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, on his improbable route to the title. Now 7-0 with the UFC, Dricus has finished every opponent he’s faced outside of Sean Strickland and Brad Tavares.

Israel Adesanya (24-3) lost the middleweight belt to Sean Strickland in a clear cut, unanimous decision defeat in September of 2023. Adesanya has had an ultra-successful career in the UFC and since being picked up in 2018 he has gone 13-3 with the promotion. ‘Izzy’ is a two-time UFC middleweight champion and successfully defended his belt five times. Adesanya, after clearing out the middleweight division, moved up 20lbs. to challenge Jan Blachowicz for the 205lbs. belt in 2021.

At the time of writing this article, only three fights have been announced for UFC 305. Exactly two months from the card here is the current lineup:

  • Dricus Du Plessis vs. Israel Adesanya
  • Tom Nolan vs. Alex Reyes
  • Casey O’Neill vs. Tereza Bleda