Dricus Du Plessis: Sean Strickland vs. Robert Whittaker ‘the fight that needs to happen’

Dricus Du Plessis thinks Sean Strickland vs. Robert Whittaker is the fight to make.

Du Plessis (21-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) finished Whittaker by TKO at UFC 290 to earn a title shot. He then dethroned Strickland at UFC 297 in January to become middleweight champion.

Since then, Whittaker (26-7 MMA, 17-5 UFC) picked up back-to-back wins over Paulo Costa at UFC 298, and Ikram Aliskerov less than two weeks ago at UFC on ABC 6. Meanwhile, Strickland rebounded with a unanimous decision win over Costa at UFC 302.

Strickland (29-6 MMA, 16-6 UFC) plans on waiting for a title shot and dismissed Whittaker as a potential next opponent. But despite Strickland’s reluctance, Du Plessis thinks he’ll end up fighting Whittaker in a No. 1 contender fight.

“In my opinion, how I see this playing out, you cannot not do the Whittaker vs. Strickland fight,” Du Plessis told Submission Radio. “I think that’s the fight that needs to happen. Now, I know Strickland when we were at the presser said Whittaker is nothing but a blitz and it’s an easy fight and now he doesn’t want to take that fight.

“Let me tell you one thing: Robert Whittaker is no easy fight for anybody. Strickland also (is) an incredible fighter, and that is just a fight that makes so much sense. That’s a fight on its own – you can main event that fight on any card, and I honestly think that’s how it’s going to play out.”

Du Plessis will look to make his first title defense when he takes on former champion Israel Adesanya (24-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) in the UFC 305 headliner Aug. 17 at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia (ESPN+ pay-per-view, ESPN, ESPN+).

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 305.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie