Dricus Du Plessis ignores UFC 'darling' and says he doesn't consider him as a candidate for the belt

The middleweight champion showed respect for Khamzat Chimaev but highlighted obstacles that prevent him from being considered a title rival

Dricus du Plessis in victory at UFC 297. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram/@ufceurope

D. Du Plessis in victory in UFC 297. (Photo: Instagram/@ufceurope)

Ready for his first defense of the middleweight belt (up to 83,9kg), Dricus Du Plessis Keep an eye on who is part of the category's elite. In an interview with 'Submission Radio', the champion of the division that was once led by Anderson Silva belittled the hype of Khamzat Shimaev and said that he cannot be considered as a possible candidate for the title.

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Poatan counters Prochazka and sends a message after the knockout at UFC 303. Photo: Reproduction/Instagram/UFC Brasil

“I would love to fight Khamzat (Chimaev). No one beat him, and he was almost like the bogeyman of this division. But let's be honest: I was a little disappointed that the fight didn't happen. I wasn't surprised, to be honest. I feel sorry for the guy. I know how it feels. At the moment, it doesn't even make sense to talk about it. You know, he hasn't fought any middleweights and putting him in this conversation (about a title fight) now seems like we're wasting time talking about it. He’s not in the race, and until he proves that he deserves to be in that race, there’s no point talking about it,” added Du Plessis.

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Du Plessis' first title defense will take place at UFC 305, on August 17, in Perth (AUS). The South African's rival will be the former champion Israel adesanya, with whom he has already created a rivalry, including confrontations in the Octagon and provocations on social media.

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