Dricus du Plessis to defend crown against Israel Adesanya at UFC 305

Dricus du Plessis to defend crown against Israel Adesanya at UFC 305

UFC middleweight champion Dricus du Plessis will defend his title against former champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 305.

The highly anticipated fight is set to be held at the RAC Arean in Perth, Australia, on 18 August 2024. It will be the South African's first title defence since taking the middleweight belt off Sean Strickland at UFC 297 in January.

Adesanya took to social media to announce the fight, apparently without the blessing of UFC overlord Dana White.

"Apparently he already announced his own fight," White said on The Jim Rome Show. 

"He's fighting in Perth. Du Plessis. August 18 in Perth. Now it's official. He didn't tell us. I saw that he had announced it. There it is. It's true."

Du Plessis remains undefeated in the UFC promotion, with seven consecutive victories. When the Pretoria native defeated division gatekeeper Robert Whittaker in 2023, Adesanya was octagon-side for the clash. The Nigerian-born fighter entered the cage and unleashed an infamous expletive-laden rant at du Plessis with the view of a potential fight. 

However, with du Plessis injured, Adesanya was pitted against Strickland at UFC 293. The American surprised all with an astute performance, out-pointing Adesanya on his way to one of the biggest upsets in the promotion's history.

Initially, Adesanya claimed he would be taking a hiatus from the fight game, but the announcement will see the New Zealand fighter locked in the cage less than a year after his historic loss. 

Du Plessis confirmed the fight on his Instagram, captioning the fight poster with "This will be done in spectacular fashion."

In a nice bit of sporting history, the Springboks will be in Perth on the same night. The World Champions face Australia in a Rugby Championship fixture at the Optus Arena just 5km down the road from the venue.  

READ MORE: World champion Dricus du Plessis receives hero's welcome