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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Farah Hannoun

Israel Adesanya happy for new UFC champion Dricus Du Plessis, but ‘still going to test that ass’

Despite their history, Israel Adesanya praised Dricus Du Plessis for his title win at UFC 297.

Du Plessis (21-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) defeated Sean Strickland (28-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC) by split decision to become middleweight champion in Saturday’s main event at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

Adesanya initially picked Du Plessis to win and thought he won as the judges’ scorecards were being read out.

“Who knows? I say Dricus probably won that,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel.

Du Plessis called out Adesanya after the win. The pair were on a collision course when Adesanya was middleweight champion, leading to a heated face off at UFC 290. The fight never materialized after Strickland stepped up to face Adesanya instead and upset him to become champion at UFC 293.

Adesanya credited Du Plessis’ performance and reacted to his callout.

“It was nice to watch. I thought Dricus would take him,” Adesanya said. “I thought he would use his wrestling more in the middle of the fight, in the middle of the rounds, but he didn’t. He used it at the end, which was smart of him to steal the rounds.

“My guesstimate on watching this, (Rounds) 3, 4, 5 he took. Now he is the fourth African champion in UFC history, so congrats to my African brother Dricus Du Plessis. Legit I’m happy for him. I actually like his story and whatnot, but he still did what he did, and I’m still going to test that ass (laughs).”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 297.

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