The UFC middleweight division is making progress which adds more spice to becoming the next title contender. Currently, Israel Adesanya is first in line for a deserving rematch against his bitter rival and reigning UFC champion Alex Pereira. Robert Whittaker vs Paulo Costa was announced and was expected to be a fight for the next title contender, but the bout got dropped due to the failure to reach an agreement with the Brazilian.
Now the new entry to UFC 285 in March is a significant middleweight matchup between championship contenders Derek Brunson and Dricus Du Plessis. The contest was confirmed on Wednesday by numerous sources familiar with the promotion's activities. The fight was first revealed by ESPN. The UFC 285 event takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on March 4th, 2023.
After losing to Jared Cannonier in February and momentarily thinking about retiring, Brunson just said he intended to become significantly more involved in 2023 to schedule at least four fights. As Brunson attempts to get back to winning ways after having amassed an outstanding five-fight win streak before the defeat to Cannonier, it appears that his first challenge will occur in March. In the middleweight division, he is presently ranked #5, and a victory over du Plessis will get him closer to a shot at the crown.
Dricus Du Plessis, who is now rated #10 in the middleweight class, plans to keep up his undefeated streak when he takes on UFC veteran Derek Brunson. The South African athlete has a flawless 4-0 record in the UFC, including a victory against Till that earned fight of the night accolades. At UFC 282, du Plessis wrapped up a vicious neck crank to defeat Till after a back-and-forth struggle. If du Plessis defeats Brunson and continues his winning streak, he might aim to become the next in position for the championship by the end of 2023.
The latest UFC 285 lineup now includes:
Derek Brunson vs. Dricus Du Plessis
Viviane Araujo vs. Amanda Ribas
Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett
Jessica Penne vs. Tabatha Ricci
Farid Basharat vs. Da’Mon Blackshear
Julio Arce vs. Cody Garbrandt
Mario Bautista vs. Guido Cannetti
Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Julian Marquez