Israel Adesanya Walking

  • Dricus Du Plessis defeated Sean Strickland via split decision for the middleweight title at UFC 297.
  • Du Plessis is rumored to defend his middleweight title versus Israel Adesanya at UFC 300.
  • Oddsmakers are giving Adesanya a slight edge over Du Plessis as the betting favorite.

According to BetOnline, former two-time UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya (24-3-0) is favored to win a potential fight over current champion Dricus Du Plessis (21-2-0). On Sunday, the 34-year-old Adesanya opened at -115 to beat Du Plessis. Since then, Adesanya’s odds to beat Du Plessis have moved to -125.

The odds suggest that Adesanya vs. Du Plessis would be a highly competitive fight. At -125 odds, Adesanya has an implied probability of just 55.6 percent to beat Du Plessis and regain the middleweight championship.

This isn’t too dissimilar to the odds for the Du Plessis fight against Sean Strickland at UFC 297. Strickland closed as a -140 favorite to beat Du Plessis, but the American was unable to finish. The fight went to the judges’ scorecards and a new champ was announced.

Du Plessis Holds Off Strickland In Fifth Round

Strickland surged late against Du Plessis in the bout, but was unable to bother the 30-year-old from South Africa. Du Plessis countered Strickland’s aggressive approach with strikes of his own. The American couldn’t gain the advantage despite trying to finish him.

Many experts believed that Du Plessis wasn’t going to have it in him to go a full five rounds with Strickland. If the fight reached the later rounds, then Strickland would have been able to assert his dominance. That is not what transpired at UFC 297, however.

Strickland leaned on his jab for the majority of the fight, while Du Plessis used his power to strike the middleweight champion. Both fighters suffered cuts and swelling over their eyes due to shots being traded.

When it was all said and done after five rounds, the judges scored the fight 48-47, 47-48, 48-47 in favor of Du Plessis. Given the effort by both fighters, no one wanted to see anyone lose Saturday night in Toronto.

This sets up a likely rematch between Strickland and Du Plessis, but before that, Adesanya and Du Plessis are on a collision course.


Du Plessis Calls Out Adesanya After Win

Du Plessis didn’t waste any time calling out his rival. Following the victory, Du Plessis made it clear that he wants to see Adesanya next time in the UFC Octagon. Adesanya had some choice words for Du Plessis after being challenged.

“Congrats to you, 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 gonna test that a**.”

Du Plessis became only the fourth African-born UFC champion with the victory over Strickland. He joins Adesanya, Francis Ngannou, and Kamaru Usman as champs in the UFC.

The two haven’t always had the best relationship. Last year, tensions rose between Du Plessis and Adesanya after the South African called the native of New Zealand not a true African champion.

Adesanya was born in Lagos, Nigeria, but he moved to New Zealand at 10 years old. Currently, Adesanya considers Auckland his home. The 34-year-old won his first UFC title in 2019 against Kelvin Gastelum for the interim UFC middleweight title at UFC 236.

Strickland Stunned Adesanya In Shocking Upset

As a -650 betting favorite, Adesanya was on the losing end of a huge upset against Strickland. In one of the biggest upsets of 2023, Strickland dismantled the Kiwi fighter for a unanimous win, with all three judges scoring the fight 49-46.

With the win, Strickland was named the new and improbable middleweight champion. Strickland applied the pressure to Adesanya early and often, nearly winning by a first-round KO. Nevertheless, Strickland was unsuccessful in his first title defense after the loss to Du Plessis.

So, bettors are asking themselves: Was Adesanya’s performance against Strickland a fluke? Did his loss to Strickland serve as a wake-up call?

With Adesanya’s odds versus Du Plessis rising slightly, it appears that the public has already forgiven “The Last Stylebender” for his loss to Strickland in September. Adesanya vs. Du Plessis has the makings of a worthy headliner at UFC 300 in April.

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Kyle Eve
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Kyle Eve is a seasoned pro of The Sports Geek. Since joining the team in 2012, Kyle, has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world. From the Super Bowl and World Series to March Madness, the NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, and many more, Kyle has provided reliable analysis for millions of readers. After dedicating himself to hockey and football in high school, Kyle placed his first sports bet on his 18th birthday. Since then, he has spent his entire adult life devoting himself to becoming the best sports bettor and casino gambler possible. Kyle is from Windsor, ON, Canada

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