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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Danny Segura and Ken Hathaway

Dricus Du Plessis no longer interested in Paulo Costa, wants No. 1 contender fight or title shot

LAS VEGAS – Dricus Du Plessis thinks something big is in store for his next UFC outing.

The middleweight contender thinks he’s nearing UFC gold following his latest win inside the octagon. Du Plessis (19-2 MMA, 5-0 UFC) stopped Derek Brunson (23-9 MMA, 14-7 UFC) on the preliminary card of Saturday’s UFC 285 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Unbeaten and with a 5-0 run in the company, Du Plessis is hoping to get a chance to fight for a title or a fight that gets him just that. Many suggested former title challenger Paulo Costa, whom Du Plessis had called out in the past, but the South African thinks he’s moved past him.

“Paulo Costa had his chance,” Du Plessis told reporters at the UFC 85 post-fight news conference. “He’s behind me right now, so I’m not even focusing on him. I called him out previously because he was ranked in front of me, but right now he can stand in line.

“I know they maybe wanted to do the (Robert) Whittaker vs. (Khamzat) Chimaev fight. I don’t know what the plans are with Chimaev because he wants to fight here, and then he wants to fight there. I’m not sure.

“I think they’re waiting to see what happens with (Israel Adesanya) and (middleweight champion Alex) Pereira because if Izzy wins this fight against Pereira, I’m the only guy in the top five he hasn’t fought – so that makes sense. If Pereira wins, I’m not sure what they want to do. At the end of the day, it must either be probably a No. 1 contender fight or a title shot. I’m happy with either of those.”

Du Plessis was happy to keep a perfect record at UFC 285 and remind everyone he’s a top fighter in the division. Although some might see his style as careless, Du Plessis thinks the results speak for themselves.

“It’s absolutely amazing coming from a team in South Africa and with a style that people think, ‘Eh, he’s not really good,'” Du Plessis said. “Well, I’m No. 5. I just beat No. 5 in the world. So yes, I am that good. My team, we are that good. That’s what this means to me. This is not about the win or being in the top five. We’re not celebrating that. But what we are celebrating is that we are that good.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 285.

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