UFC: Israel Adesanya blasts Dricus du Plessis for pulling out of UFC Sydney title bout, calls out new challenger

Adesanya and Du Plessis square off at UFC 290.
Adesanya and Du Plessis square off at UFC 290. Photo credit: Getty Images

It appears Israel Adesanya will to wait to settle his grudge with Dricus du Plessis, with injury poised to rule the South African out of their proposed headline bout in Australia.

After du Plessis' shock second-round win over Robert Whittaker in their unofficial No. 1 contender fight at UFC 290 this month, 'The Last Stylebender' entered the Octagon to square off with his newest contender in a racially charged square-off to set the stage in explosive fashion for a middleweight title showdown at Sydney's UFC 293 on September 10.

Although the UFC had yet to announce the bout, it was widely expected to fill the marquee slot in the promotion's first Australasian event since 2020.

But in an expletive-laden rant posted on social media on Wednesday, Adesanya revealed a "sore foot" would rule Du Plessis out of contention for the short turnaround title fight.

Sean Strickland.
Sean Strickland. Photo credit: Getty Images

Du Plessis' claims that he's the "real African" fighting in the UFC have drawn the ire of Nigerian-born Adesanya - whose family immigrated to New Zealand when he was 10 years old.

Adesanya has unleashed on 'Stillknocks' for his withdrawal but is adamant he's still feature in Sydney, calling on sixth-ranked Sean Strickland to step up as replacement.

"I don't even know how to start this but, Dricus DuP*ssy, you f**king b*tch," Adesanya said in a video posted to Twitter. 

"'Oh, all he had to do was put on some gloves, I was ready to go again.' No you weren't. You’re a b*tch. That's why you're not taking this fight. 

"Your foot's sore? My knee was jacked for my last fight. Guess what I did? I showed up, because that’s what a f**king champion does. Championship calibre, built different.

"I'm fighting in Sydney. I don't give a f**k who. D**kless DuP*ssy, f**k off. You're out. (Sean) Strickland, you're in. Let's do the man dance. Show you how to really dance."

Strickland is fresh off an impressive second-round TKO against Abus Magomedov earlier this month. 

The American's coach said they'd already been preparing for a potential challenge against Adesanya in Sydney, either as a back-up or challenger.

The event will feature a host of NZ and Australian fighters, with Adesanya's City Kickboxing teammates Kai Kara-France, Carlos Ulberg and Blood Diamond already confirmed for the card.