Dricus Du Plessis knows the fight game isn’t fair.
Du Plessis (20-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) finished Robert Whittaker at UFC 290 in July to remain unbeaten in the octagon. Immediately afterward, he faced off with then-middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in the cage, but a broken foot prevented him from a quick turnaround two months later at UFC 293, and the title shot was awarded to Sean Strickland instead.
Strickland dethroned Adesanya to become champion, but it appears Du Plessis isn’t his next fight. Prior to Kamaru Usman stepping in on short notice to face Khamzat Chimaev this past Saturday at UFC 294, Dana White dubbed it as a No. 1 contender fight. Chimaev won the bout, and White reiterated that he’s next.
So where does that leave Du Plessis? The South African fighter won’t let being passed up deter him.
“When you look at this, I have one of two options,” Du Plessis said in an interview with Fox West Texas. “The first thing I can say is a little bit of a jab is Khamzat’s hand is broken, right? So he should be ready to fight in seven weeks or he forfeits his title shot because that’s what happened to me. I wasn’t ready to fight in seven weeks with a broken foot.”
Although he thinks he deserves the title shot, Du Plessis understands the UFC is a business and that its decisions are out of his control.
“It took me maybe a week or so to almost stop feeling sorry for myself like this is unfair,” Du Plessis said. “Life’s not fair, and the fight game is definitely not fair. I just said what I’ll do now is I’ll run over the whole division, I’ll run over the top five of this division, which will only make my move to light heavyweight quicker and easier. … Right now I’m not going to beg for any title shot. I’ve never begged for anything, I’ve fought for it.”
Du Plessis was not impressed with Chimaev’s win over Usman. Although Chimaev (13-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) had a strong 10-8 round to start, Du Plessis thinks he lost his aura of invincibility and said he’s definitely not “The Boogeyman.”
“If you want to give Khamzat the title shot, go right ahead,” Du Plessis continued. “Because Khamzat that fought this weekend loses to Sean Strickland every day of the week.”