Adesanya to return vs. Du Plessis at UFC 305

MMA

Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya announced on social media that he will return from his self-imposed hiatus to face current champion Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 305, which takes place at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.

“Never stole shine, never lost mine,” reads the caption on the graphic Adesanya posted with the fight date of August 17 listed.

UFC president Dana White confirmed the fight during an appearance on The Jim Rome Show on Monday.

Adesanya — who resides in nearby Auckland, New Zealand — hasn’t fought since he dropped the title in a stunning upset to Sean Strickland last September. After the loss, Adesanya suggested that he might not compete again until 2027, a stance he has since backed off on.

The two-time middleweight champion’s hiatus will last less than a year, and Adesanya will jump right back into the title picture against one of his biggest rivals in Du Plessis.

The two have been feuding ever since South Africa-born Du Plessis made claims that he would be the UFC’s true African champion, a knock on Nigeria-born Adesanya living in New Zealand. After Du Plessis’ victory over Robert Whittaker at UFC 290, Adesanya entered the Octagon and confronted “Stillknocks” with an expletive-laced tirade that delivered an ugly racial undertone and intensified their rivalry.

However, the fight wouldn’t materialize in the Octagon as Adesanya dropped the title in a massive upset by Strickland at UFC 293. Strickland wouldn’t hold the title long, as Du Plessis won it in January by split decision at UFC 297.

Du Plessis acknowledged the possibility of facing Adesanya in Perth, and now the fight will finally come to fruition as the headliner of the August 17 Pay Per View card.

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