Adesanya was apparently none too pleased at recent comments by South Africa native and UFC middleweight Du Plessis, who indicated he was a more authentic African than Adesanya and the “Three Kings” including Francis Ngannou and Kamaru Usman.
Usman, a one-time training partner of Du Plessis, urged his colleague to “be a little bit more careful” with his words involving ethnicity. Adesanya seethed at the post-fight podium and appeared eager to teach Du Plessis a physical lesson.
“I don’t wanna give this n**** clout,” the UFC champ said. “I don’t. I wanna whoop his ass so bad. I wanna whoop his ass so bad. I wanna do it in South Africa, or Nigeria, but he’s got to do work, he’s got to do something, show me something, so I can whoop that ass and I can show you history.
“I’ll remind you, because you got to choose your words wisely when you speak on people that have come before you, people that paved the way for you. You gotta pick your words wisely. You wanna try and be a big boy – I want be with the big boys. Go choose your words wisely, but I don’t wanna give him no clout.
“But if he does work and, and, I pray to God, he keeps winning, I will gladly drag his carcass across South Africa.”
UFC President Dana White has targeted an event to take place in Africa. But the promotion was unable to capitalize during the reign of Adesanya, Ngannou and Usman, the latter two of which no longer hold titles with the promotion.
After recapturing the middleweight title, Adesanya lives in New Zealand but represents his native Nigeria, regularly speaking in his native tongue during press conferences. Though he demurred on his next opponent, the up-and-coming Du Plessis offered an easy storyline for the new champ.
On Monday, Du Plessis wasted no time mentioning Adesanya by name.
So you won’t say my name, that’s smart you better not,” he wrote. “I don’t need your airtime at all, I have my whole continent of AFRICA behind me. Go enjoy your very spectacular victory at home in New Zealand. UFC Africa is far from being done at least another year, I’ll meet you on neutral ground this year and if you still feel so strongly after facing me and I take your belt home I’ll give you another chance to come and try face me on MY HOME soil of Africa. We are Africa we fear nothing and certainly nobody.”