Mixed Martial Arts: Israel Adesanya announces world title challenge with Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 305 in Perth

Israel Adesanya and Dricus du Plessis square off.
Israel Adesanya and Dricus du Plessis square off. Photo credit: Getty Images

Israel Adesanya and reigning champion Dricus Du Plessis will fight for the middleweight belt as the main event of UFC 305 on August 17 at Perth, Australia.

The match-up has been announced with exactly two months to go before the fight. UFC president Dana White confirmed the bout during an interview with broadcaster Jim Rome.

Du Plessis, 30, of South Africa won the UFC middleweight championship last January by beating Sean Strickland, via split decision, at UFC 297 in Toronto. Du Plessis is 21-2 in his mixed martial arts career and 7-0 in UFC competition.

Adesanya, 34, from New Zealand previously held the belt, but lost it to Strickland, via unanimous decision, at UFC 293 last September. He's currently ranked No.2 among UFC middleweights and is 24-3 lifetime in MMA (13-3 UFC).

Du Plessis and Adesanya have not fought one another before, but that's not without trying. They were on the fight card for UFC 293, before Du Plessis withdrew with a foot injury. At UFC 300 in April, Du Plessis withdrew again, due to leg injuries suffered during his win over Strickland.

The UFC 305 card also includes flyweight fights pitting Steve Erceg against Kiwi Kai Kara-France and Tereza Bleda v Casey O'Neill, plus a lightweight bout between Tom Nolan and Alex Reyes.