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Robert Whittaker predicts that Dricus Du Plessis will beat Israel Adesanya

LockerRoom Team
26 January 2024

Former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has shared his thoughts on the potential matchup between Dricus du Plessis and Israel Adesanya, expressing his belief that du Plessis has the edge if the two were to face off. Du Plessis recently secured the middleweight title with a split decision victory over Sean Strickland at UFC 297 and wasted no time in proposing a title defence against Adesanya at UFC 300.

While the fight has not been officially confirmed, signs indicate a showdown between du Plessis and Adesanya could be on the horizon. Whittaker, drawing from his own experiences with both fighters, offered his prediction during an appearance on The MMA Hour.

"I’m going to say DDP,” Whittaker stated. “Just because, like Sean with Dricus, the safe bet is Sean, but Dricus showed what he was willing to do and what he was willing to go through. Can he do that again against Izzy? Who knows? But he’s a tough guy. He’s awkward and he’s going to be pushing forward that entire time. It doesn’t matter if he’s getting hit, he showed that tenacity in that fight. So I’ll go DDP."

Whittaker, who has a history with both du Plessis and Adesanya, having lost his title to Adesanya in 2019 and suffered a recent defeat to du Plessis at UFC 290, highlighted the challenges du Plessis brings to the table.

"As someone who has fought Dricus, I understand how awkward he is to fight," Whittaker remarked. "Now, gun to my head, I thought Sean might be able to get away with a decision win, keep him at the end of his jab, pepper away for five rounds. I thought that would be the safest bet, but I never ruled out Dricus because of how awkward he is, because of how tough and strong he is, because of how hungry he is for that title."

Whittaker sees du Plessis' unconventional style as a significant asset, noting, "His fights aren’t the prettiest fights, but they get it done. And that’s a big reason why I love MMA so much... because there’s so many ways to climb the mountain, and he’s just an example of it."

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Should du Plessis retain his title, Whittaker acknowledges the potential impact on his own aspirations, as he is scheduled to face Paulo Costa at UFC 298. However, he sees a silver lining, stating, "Losing to Dricus put him on a list of rematches that I want. So him having the belt just kind of works. Two birds, one stone." As the middleweight division continues to unfold, fans eagerly await confirmation of the highly speculated matchup between du Plessis and Adesanya.

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