Dan Hooker gave more details on why the expected Dricus Du Plessis vs. Israel Adesanya fight did not make it to the UFC 300 card.

Adesanya and Du Plessis have been eyeing each other even before the former snatched the belt from Sean Strickland at UFC 297 in January. After his victory, “Stillknocks” reiterated his plan to defend his gold to the former two-time UFC middleweight champion. This later started beliefs that the two might join the April 13 card of the promotion and even headline the event. However, UFC CEO Dana White later announced that the historic card would be led by Alex Pereira and Jamahal Hill instead.

According to Hooker, Adesanya was actually willing to be a part of UFC 300 to make his comeback fight against Du Plessis. However, the Hooker said that the issue came from Du Plessis’ side as the fighter still has some injuries from his last match against Strickland.

“I want Dana to come out and say that what had all gone on behind the scenes,” Hooker said on Sky Sports NZ. “Because as far as I knew, like, Israel was stepping up to fight in that 300 slot.”

This confirms and reflects the middleweight champ’s earlier statement about his possible quick turnaround. Although Du Plessis shared that he was open to the idea of joining UFC 300 with Adesanya, he underscored that the decision would still depend on his recovery. Nonetheless, the champ expressed great interest in facing “The Last Stylebender” in the anticipated UFC Africa card, albeit there are still no details about it. According to Hooker, nonetheless, a fight should soon be booked, especially since Adesanya is now back in training.

“He’s continued to stay in the gym and stay healthy and stay training very hard,” Hooker continued. “So I would anticipate him getting another fight booked pretty soon, you know. I feel like Dricus, like, that was going to be a big ask after the five rounds he had with Strickland. He took a lot of damage in that Strickland fight. And yeah, you can, like, he turned the title fight before. He was supposed to fight Israel in Sydney when he fought Strickland, but he had like a niggle, he had an injury, and he wasn’t prepared to that risk.”

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