Helwani Says Adesanya Won’t Be Ready For UFC 300

January 23, 2024
3 months
Helwani Says Adesanya Won't Be Ready For UFC 300

Israel Adesanya will not make a return to the sport at UFC 300. 

That is according to Ariel Helwani. Speculation over Adesanya’s return emerged after Dricus Du Plessis beat Sean Strickland to become the new UFC Middleweight Champion. Strickland won the belt from Adesanya only to lose his title during his first defense via a split decision at UFC 297. The new champion called out Adesanya, who is on a break from the sport after losing to Strickland. 

Du Plessis On Adesanya

“It’s nothing personal. It’s not personal at all. That’s just the fight the fans want to see. I want to fight the best competition. There’s a lot of guys I’m going to be fighting, but the fans want to see Israel Adesanya vs. Dricus du Plessis. There’s a lot of hype that was already built on it.

“If the fans, there’s some way they start backtracking and the fans don’t really want to see Adesanya, we don’t do that fight. It’s fine to me. I don’t care who it is. But that’s just the fight on top of my head that I think the people want to see and would get a lot of people excited,” Du Plessis stated 

Du Plessis and Adesanya were on course to face each other, but Strickland’s win over Izzy disrupted those plans. But now that Du Plessis has the title, a UFC 300 fight is being mentioned. However, Adesanya is unlikely to return. 

Helwani On Adesanya

“I’ve inquired multiple times about Izzy leading up to all this. And I’m repeatedly told ‘Not ready to go at UFC 300’ … Maybe the UFC now says ‘All right, how do we make this right, how do we get you to come fight at UFC 300?’ I don’t know,” Helwani stated

Adesanya is recovering from an undisclosed injury, hoping to return to full training at the end of February. Since UFC 300 takes place on April 13, 2024, the turnaround time means an Adesanya return is difficult. But there is still time for the fight to happen later down the line. 

Given the nature of the win, Du Plessis may take a rematch with Strickland. The split decision win could have gone either way, with some believing that the American was robbed of a win. Dana White even stated his feelings that Strickland had done enough to win. That has set up the narrative for a rematch, meaning a Du Plessis-Adesanya bout may have to wait. 

“We were just looking at how the media had scored it and right down the middle. I had it 2-2 going into the last round and I thought that Strickland won the last round. Guys who were sitting at the same table had it the other way. It was a close fight,” White stated 

As of now, White has no intention to order an immediate rematch. But if the Adesanya fight does not happen, then there is a chance that Strickland gets his chance again. Either way, Du Plessis is in a commanding position. 

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