Top UFC middleweight says Sean Strickland beat an ‘amateur’ to claim title

UFC middleweight contender Dricus Du Plessis reacted to Israel Adesanya's loss at UFC 293 and sent a message to The Last StyleBender.

By: Tim Bissell | 1 week ago
Top UFC middleweight says Sean Strickland beat an ‘amateur’ to claim title
IMAGO/AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Sean Strickland took Dricus Du Plessis place at UFC 293

At UFC 293 Israel Adesanya was initially expected to face Dricus Du Plessis. However, DDP was unable to make that date so Sean Strickland filled in. Strickland, to the surprise of everyone (and perhaps even himself) shut out Adesanya and took an obvious unanimous decision over the now former UFC middleweight champion.

Adesanya has released his statement after the loss. As has his head coach Eugene Bareman and UFC President Dana White. Now Du Plessis has shared his reaction to the shocking result.

The South African fighter posted his thoughts, and a message to Adesanya, on Instagram.

“Well, what an upset!” he wrote before descending into the distasteful identity games that have marred Du Plessis and Adesanya’s rivalry. “I’m impressed in any way but congratulations on becoming champion and beating the Kiwi/Chinese/Nigerian.”

“Myself and [Sean Strickland] had the biggest upsets of 2023,” continued Du Plessis, referencing his recent win over Robert Whittaker. “I am undoubtedly the [number one] contender so let’s settle this like men whenever wherever.”

Du Plessis then tagged Adesanya and told him he would give him a title shot and a “well deserved hiding on my home soil South Africa.”

“That being said don’t want to beat the amateur that fought on Saturday night I want to beat the best [Adesanya] so take some time and get your shit together,” he added.

Israel Adesanya and Dricus Du Plessis have had plenty to say to each other

Du Plessis and Adesanya’s rivalry can be traced back to when Du Plessis arrived on the UFC scene and immediately started telling anyone who would listen that he was the only African in the UFC. His statement not only ignored fighters who are also based in Africa and hold nationalities from African countries, but also fighters whose heritage are unmistakably and indubitably African (like Adesanya, Francis Ngannou and Kamaru Usman).

After some tweets back and forth, their war of words intensified when Adesanya hit the cage after Du Plessis’ sensational win over Whittaker.

To Du Plessis’ face Adesanya confirmed his intention to fight him next (risking the UFC middleweight title) before going on an n-word laced tirade, challenging Du Plessis to put his foot in his mouth. Thankfully, Du Plessis did not oblige on that occasion.

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About the author
Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

Tim is also BE's lead (only) sumo reporter. He blogs about that sport here and on his own substack, Sumo Stomp!

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