Israel Adesanya reveals who he’s rooting for in Robert Whittaker vs. Dricus du Plessis fight

By Lewis Simpson - May 18, 2023

Israel Adesanya has weighed in on the upcoming middleweight title eliminator fight between Robert Whittaker and Dricus du Plessis.

Israel Adesanya

The fight is set to feature on the main card of the upcoming UFC 290 International Fight Week event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on July.8.

Topping the action-packed fight card is a featherweight title unification bout between Alexander Volkanovski and interim champion Yair Rodriguez. Brandon Moreno will defend his flyweight crown in the co-headliner against Alexandre Pantoja.

While the current middleweight kingpin Adesanya will be heavily invested in his friend Volkanovski’s title defence, he will also have a close eye on the Whittaker vs Du Plessis bout, with the winner confirmed by Dana White to challenge him next for his world championship at UFC 293 in Sydney on September 10.

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya fights at UFC 293

“The winner of that fight will fight [Israel] Adesanya later this year, and that fight is targeted for Sydney, Australia,” White announced on his social media.

In April this year, at UFC 287, Adesanya became a two-time UFC middleweight champion by knocking out his long-time combat sports nemesis, Alex Pereira. The bout marked the second meeting between the pair in MMA and the fourth overall, with Pereira leading (3-1) in the rivalry.


What was next for Adesanya was unclear after Pereira continued campaigning for the trilogy bout after his defeat. Since then, he decided to move to the 205 lbs division and is scheduled to face Jan Blachowicz at UFC 291 in July. 29.

During a recent video on Adesanya’s ‘FREESTYLEBENDER‘ Youtube Channel, he dived into the title eliminator bout between Whittaker and Du Plessis and evaluated both men’s chances.

Adesanya rooting for Dricus du Plessis

Although pushing for Du Plessis to win, Adesanya believes it will take a lot of work for the South African to get past a fighter as skilled as Whittaker.

“Rob can probably get him out of there in the second round or just beat him up for three rounds,” Adesayna said. “He can’t outlast Rob. I think Rob will be faster than him, fitter than him.”

Adesanya added, “I really want Dricus.”

If Whittaker wins, which Adesanya gives a “70 percent” chance of happening, it will be the third time they’ve met in an MMA setting, with the Nigerian-Kiwi getting his hand raised on both previous occasions.

For some, the thought of repeatedly fighting the same face can get boring and un-motivate an athlete. Still, when proposed with the idea of fighting Whittaker in his backyard for a second time, Adesanya welcomes it.

“I think there’s another story there. It’s in a new state or city in Australia, another stadium”.

Lately, Adesanya and Du Plessis have gotten involved in some heated back-and-forth exchanges after Du Plessis labelled Adesayna, Kamaru Usman and Francis Ngannou “fake Africans”. While taking great offence to Du Plessis’s remarks, Adesayna wanted to settle their differences in the Octagon and promised to “torture” the No.6 ranked middleweight if the opportunity arose. The recent beef between the two is likely the main reason Adesanya wants Du Plessis to get his hand raised at UFC 290.

What do you make of the prediction from Israel Adesanya? Will Dricus Du Plessis have enough ability to get through Robert Whittaker? Let us know in the comments!


Dricus du Plessis Israel Adesanya Robert Whittaker UFC