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‘It’s Dangerous to Be Here…’

Dricus Du Plessis says he feels Israel Adesanya is ready to hang up his gloves following his recent defeat to Alex Pereira, feeling he has achieved everything he set out to achieve in the sport.

“Stillknocks” is set to defend his middleweight title for the first time against former longtime champion Adesanya in the main event of UFC 305. The highly anticipated bout is scheduled for August 17 at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.

“The Last Stylebender” is set to return to the Octagon after an 11-month hiatus, the longest of his UFC career. Following his title loss to Sean Strickland at UFC 293 last September, Adesanya took a self-imposed break to focus on his mental health.

The Nigerian-born New Zealander has been going through the toughest stretch of his career since his failed light heavyweight title challenge against then-champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259. Three bouts later, Adesanya suffered his first middleweight defeat with a fifth-round TKO over longtime rival Alex Pereira at UFC 281.

But he made a triumphant return by reclaiming the middleweight title from ‘Poatan’ in a rematch at UFC 287, and Du Plessis believes the victory was the pinnacle of Adesanya’s career.

In a recent interview Hello SportsThe reigning UFC middleweight champion reflected on his clash with Adesanya at the UFC 305 sales press conference. The South African said he respects “The Last Stylebender’s” accomplishments but felt Adesanya was pushing himself too hard for the upcoming fight.

“As for title defences, the winning streaks will never come because there is no time,” Du Plessis said. “I think for him personally his biggest achievement was beating Alex Pereira. He had an enemy who had beaten him many times and after that fight (Adesanya) was ready to give up.

“I saw the same in his eyes. He was trying to convince me but more so trying to convince himself that he still wants to do it and that he has what it takes to be the best fighter in the world, and the moment you ask yourself that question – you’re in a dark place.”

The rivalry between Adesanya and Pereira ranks as one of the most intense and legendary in combat sports history. “Poatan” appeared to have torn his opponent apart both physically and mentally, but was defeated by a brutal knockout in their last fight.

The Brazilian has defeated Adesanya twice in kickboxing, while the pair have also won once each in their UFC bouts.

Dricus Du Plessis Says Entering UFC 305 Peacefully Is ‘Dangerous’ For Israel Adesanya

Adesanya has previously said that the layoff gave him the opportunity to regroup and relieve the pressure of constantly fighting and enduring the demands of the battle camps.

However, “Stillknocks” warned that a break is not always beneficial for a fighter. During the interview, Du Plessis said that an extended break can lead to self-doubt and that when he faces Adesanya in the Octagon, he will make sure his opponent never finds his momentum.

“Free time is not necessarily the problem; it can be good, it can be bad… When you get to a point where you feel very comfortable, where you say you are at peace, where you are happy with what you have, that is a dangerous place to be because this sport means chaos, and chaos is the opposite of peace.

“If you’re at peace and you’re entering the Octagon with me, it’s going to be a problem because I bring chaos.”

Du Plessis and Adesanya have a turbulent history, their destinies intertwined long before their dramatic fight at UFC 290 last July. Their rivalry dates back to the time when “The Last Stylebender” reigned as middleweight champion, and Du Plessis called him out on it, vowing to become a true African champion and bring the belt back to the continent.