Dricus Du Plessis vs. Israel Adesanya title grudge match headlines UFC 305 in Perth

The highly anticipated title clash between Dricus Du Plessis and Israel Adesanya will serve as the main event for the UFC’s first show in Australia this year.

Du Plessis (21-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) will attempt to make his first middleweight title defense when he takes on former two-time divisional champion Adesanya (24-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) in the UFC 305 headliner on Aug. 17 at RAC Arena in Perth (pay-per-view, ESPN, ESPN+).

After both fighters indicated it was a done deal on social media, UFC CEO Dana White said the main event was set on “The Jim Rome Show” on Monday.

First expected to take place at UFC 293 this past September, then again in the UFC 300 main event in April, the timing finally aligned for Du Plessis, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie middleweight rankings, to step into the octagon with No. 3 Adesanya.

Du Plessis, 30, charged up the 185-pound division with multiple notable wins, including against Robert Whittaker, and was expected to challenge then-champ Adesanya this past fall. He didn’t take the fight at UFC 293 due to injury, though, which allowed Sean Strickland to step in and pull off a massive upset.

Strickland would go on to lose the belt to Du Plessis in a debated split decision at UFC 297 in January, and there was hope Du Plessis would make a quick turnaround for the monumental UFC 300 card. Injury once again prevented him from accepting, though, despite Adesanya claiming he was ready and willing to go.

Now there’s a date that worked for all sides, and Adesanya, 34, will attempt to once again reclaim the belt and join Randy Couture as the only fighters in UFC history with three separate title reigns in a single division.

Additionally, Du Plessis and Adesanya will get the chance to settle their feud, which truly began when Du Plessis made a polarizing remark about his pride in being the first fighter who lives and trains in Africa to hold a UFC belt.

The friction stemming from that comment has rippled through time, including when Du Plessis and Adesanya engaged in a heated in-cage staredown following Du Plessis’ win over Whittaker at UFC 290 in July 2023.

The latest UFC 305 lineup now includes:

  • Champ Dricus Du Plessis vs. Israel Adesanya – for middleweight title

  • Steve Erceg vs. Kai Kara-France

  • Tom Nolan vs. Alex Reyes

  • Tereza Bleda vs. Casey O’Neill

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

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie