With just over two months remaining until April’s bumper UFC 300 card, the event still remains without a main event.
The fight card, tipped by UFC CEO Dana White to be among the most stacked in the promotion’s history, is filled with a host of intriguing matchups yet a headliner remains conspicuously absent. White has denied rumours that some of the promotion’s stars of yesteryear, such as Brock Lesnar, Ronda Rousey or Georges St-Pierre, might be drafted in to fill the gap — leaving matchmaker with limited options to find a sufficiently bankable main event.
One such option, as mooted in the press, is Dricus du Plessis vs. Israel Adesanya. And according to the South African middleweight champion, he’s be open to the idea — but it is just as in the dark as everyone else.
“I think it’s going to be great. Every time you have the UFC 100, UFC 200, and now 300, all of are massive events and the pay-per-views are insane, it’s a massive hype, and I would love to be part of that, but not if it’s going to mean that I’m not going to be fully recovered. Defending my title is much more important to me than being on this milestone event.”
But while much of the MMA world is focused on UFC 300 as a tentpole event, Du Plessis says another possible fight card is more appealing to him.
“The real milestone event will be UFC in Africa, and more importantly, South Africa,” he said. “I can’t even explain to you how long I’ll be willing to wait to make that happen and defend my belt on home soil. That’s history. UFC 300 is just a number. It’s not as massive as UFC Africa.”
Du Plessis continued, saying that that former champion Israel Adesanya is “probably going to be the next fight,” but added that there remains the possibility of running it back against the man he took the title from, Sean Strickland.
“I wouldn’t mind, if that’s what the UFC wants,” Du Plessis said. “I always say, as a champion, you want to give the people the fight they want to see. For me, that’s the important thing. I want to be champion of the world so I don’t want to pick any fights because there’s going to be an easier fight.
“If you want to be the best in the world, you have to fight whoever is the next toughest guy in the division. So if the UFC decides they want to do Strickland two, I’m completely happy with that. If the fans say, no, that’s the fight they want, let’s do it. I honestly think the second fight will be a lot easier than the first one.”