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Dricus du Plessis on UFC boss Dana White's criticism: I don't understand

South African UFC star Dricus du Plessis has reacted to Dana White's criticism after he turned down a fight due to injury and short notice.

Du Plessis cemented himself as the top contender in the middleweight division after he ran through Robert Whittaker at UFC 290. Then-champion Israel Adesanya entered the octagon with a race-baiting expletive-laden call out to fuel the hype train for a potential clash at UFC 293, but later du Plessis pulled out of the fight citing a foot injury and the quick turnaround.

UFC overlord White was questioned about du Plessis in the UFC 293 preamble last week, where he simply commented "You know how I feel about fighters who turn down fights," failing to mention any of the extenuating circumstances.

 

Now, in an interview with FightWave, du Plessis has clapped back at White.

"I've been ready to address every situation of what might happen this weekend, and what the UFC might say, what Dana might say – obviously, him not being very happy that I turned down a fight on seven weeks' notice with an injury, which I don't really understand," Du Plessis said in an interview with FightWave.

"But at the end of the day, it's business for them and you have got to respect that. But if I can look at my track record, I know for a fact that I'm not somebody that turns down fights if it's not a good enough reason. 

"I've taken fights on short notice multiple times. Every time they phone, I say, 'Yes, let's go'. This time around just wasn't possible with the injury and short notice."

In one of the UFC's biggest upsets, the middleweight division was turned on its head on Saturday at UFC 293 when underdog Sean Strickland dethroned champion Adesanya via unanimous decision in Sydney.

"I'm happy for Sean Strickland," continued du Plessis. 

"I’m happy that Izzy got a little bit of a hiding, although I would have loved to be the guy to give it to him. There's Sean Strickland: Just goes to show, I feel he was in a very similar situation to me and Robert Whittaker where nobody gave me a shot. Nobody gave me a chance. I know Strickland didn't even give me a chance, and I didn't give him a chance in this fight."

It remains to be seen what the upset means for du Plessis' title hopes, as White has already mentioned Strickland and Adesanya should sign for a rematch.

In addition, rising star Khamzat Chimaev is set to face Paulo Costa in the UFC 294 headliner on 22 October, with many touting Chimaev to earn a title shot with a victory. 

READ MORE: British hopeful Tom Aspinall seeking clash with Cyril Gane after UFC Paris

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