White fighter is branded a racist after accusing UFC superstars Francis Ngannou and Israel Adesanya of being FAKE Africans: ‘He’s trying to erase them from history’
- Fighter questions authenticity of former champs
- Du Plessis says he’s the UFC’s real African fighter
- Du Plessis is currently unbeaten in the UFC
South African MMA star Dricus du Plessis has questioned the authenticity of former Africa-born champions Francis Ngannou, Israel Adesanya and Kamaru Usman in a shocking outburst.
Du Plessis, who racked up his seventh consecutive win last weekend with a knockout victory over Derek Brunson at UFC 285, is aiming for a shot at the middleweight title – and believes winning the belt would make him the first true African champ.
‘Did those belts ever go to Africa? As far as I know, they came to America and New Zealand. I’m going to take a belt to Africa,’ he said of the titles won by the trio at a recent media day.
‘I’m the African fighter in the UFC. Myself and Cameron [Saaiman, Du Plessis’ teammate], we breathe African air. We wake up in Africa every day. We train in Africa, we’re African born, we’re African raised. We still reside in Africa, we train out of Africa. That’s an African champion, and that’s who I’ll be.’
South African MMA star Dricus du Plessis plans to win a UFC belt soon, and has questioned the authenticity of the three former African champions before him
Du Plessis, who racked up his seventh consecutive win over the weekend with a knockout victory over Derek Brunson at UFC 285, is aiming for a shot at the middleweight title
Du Plessis’ comments have rubbed some MMA fighters up the wrong way, including Nigerian-American featherweight Sodiq Yusuff.
Yusuff shared a video of Du Plessis and commented that it was ‘like starring in a mirror’ – prompting another Twitter user to accuse him of being racist.
‘You are literally watching a video with a guy trying to erase Africans from history and replace them with himself. Mental gymnastics to call me racist is hilarious,’ replied Yusuff.
Former UFC fighter Mike Jackson also objected to the South African’s remarks.
‘The white fragility in this one. Super unnecessary,’ he commented on a video.
However, other fight fans think Du Plessis’ comments are reasonable.
‘I don’t understand what people are failing to understand! You don’t have to be black to be an African. He and Cameron are real Africans, more African than Usman and Izzy combined. They were raised there, reside there and even train there,’ said a Twitter user
‘Africa is a location, if you are born in it you are African,’ commented another.
Du Plessis’ comments have rubbed some MMA fighters up the wrong way, including Nigerian-American featherweight Sodiq Yusuff (Ngannou and Adesanya pictured posing with belts)
Many fight fans think Du Plessis’ comments are reasonable, however, and have shown their support online (African-born former champions Francis Ngannou, Israel Adesanya, Kamaru Usman pictured together in 2022)
‘It’s funny how a white African guy can’t be African because he’s white but that’s the exact logic racists use about black peoples in Europe,’ said a third.
Du Plessis’ victory over No.5-ranked Brunson is the biggest win of his career and will move him into the top 10 and towards title contention.
The middleweight contender told reporters after his recent win that a title shot isn’t far away and that his results in the Octagon speak for themselves.
‘It’s absolutely amazing coming from a team in South Africa and with a style that people think, “Eh, he’s not really good”,’ Du Plessis said.
‘Well, I’m No.5. I just beat No.5 in the world. So yes, I am that good. My team, we are that good. That’s what this means to me.
‘This is not about the win or being in the top five. We’re not celebrating that. But what we are celebrating is that we are that good.’