Dricus Du Plessis responded to the UFC president’s claims

Dricus Du Plessis, who lost a title shot to Sean Strickland and the No. 1 ranking in the UFC middleweight rankings to Israel Adesanya, believes the claims of the organization’s CEO, Dana White, who said after the Nigerian’s loss that the South African should not have turned down the title fight, are unfounded.

“I was prepared for any development this weekend, including what Dana might say, and obviously he’s not very happy that I withdrew from the fight on seven weeks notice because of injury, which I don’t really understand,” Du Plessis told FightWave.

“But at the end of the day, it’s a business for them and we have to respect that. Nevertheless, looking at my record, I know for a fact that I’m not one to turn down fights unless there’s a good enough reason. I’ve accepted fights on short notice a few times. Every time they’ve called me, I’ve said, ‘No problem, let’s do it.’ This time I just couldn’t do it because of the injury and the short notice.”

Du Plessis admits he didn’t believe in the success of Sean Strickland, and is partly disappointed that the American denied him the opportunity to take the title away from Israel Adesanya by defeating the champion by unanimous decision at UFC 293 in Sydney.

“I’m happy for Sean Strickland, and I’m happy that Israel Adesanya got roughed up, although I wanted to be the guy to do it. I was in a similar situation to Sean when I fought Robert Whittaker and nobody gave me a chance. Nobody believed in me. I know Strickland didn’t give me a chance, just like I didn’t give him a chance in this fight.”

Earlier, Du Plessis challenged Strickland, promising to make his first title defense against Adesanya after defeating the American.