Former two-time UFC middleweight champion Adesanya (24-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) said he plans on taking time off after losing the title to Sean Strickland at UFC 293 in September. “The Last Stylebender” said not until 2027 – although it was clear he said it in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
But if Adesanya takes too much time off, Du Plessis (20-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) warns him that it could be a bad idea.
“The man was active,” Du Plessis said in an interview with My MMA News. “That’s one thing we can say about Adesanya as a champion. He showed up. He didn’t shy away from fights. He fought everybody, some people twice. He was very active as a champion. I think he deserves some time away from the sport. He said 2027. If he comes back in 2027, he’s going to get hurt. He shouldn’t do that.
“But taking some time off, maybe take a year off, that would be good for him. I think he earned that. I think as one of the best to ever do it in the middleweight division he deserves to take some time off and right now, as a person, I do not like Adesanya for obvious reasons. As a fighter, as a martial artist to another martial artist, a guy that I know also embodies the martial artist way, he needs to stay strong right now. He can’t lose it. You can’t lose it outside of the ring.”
Du Plessis was gearing up for his grudge match against Adesanya after he finished Robert Whittaker at UFC 290, but was unable to make a quick turnaround due to injury. Strickland faced Adesanya instead, and dethroned him in a stunning upset.
Now Du Plessis challenges champion Strickland (28-5 MMA, 15-5 UFC) for the middleweight title in the UFC 297 headliner Jan. 20 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 297.