Israel Adesanya and Dricus Du Plessis have different versions of what happened when they trained together in Thailand. In recent interviews, the ‘Last Stylebender’ has revealed that he and Du Plessis have a history—with both men having previously trained at the same gym nearly 10 years ago.
From what Adesanya recalled, ’Stillknocks’ got the better of him on the ground, while he bested Du Plessis on the feet.
“I remember this. We actually sparred,” said Adesanya on IMPAULSIVE. “Hey, sparring is sparring. Also, you know what? I’m coming from China. I was doing kickboxing over there. I had no MMA, nothing. I was just kickboxing. I had MMA already, but it wasn’t sharp. It was blunt. My jiu-jitsu was blunt, very blunt.
“So when we’re sparring—I don’t know if we did two rounds or one,” continued Adesanya. “It was so long ago as well. This is 2014. So long ago. I remember like on the grappling, he had me. But on the striking, I just messed him up.”
According to Du Plessis, only half of that recollection is true. When discussing the reigning UFC champion during an interview with The Schmo, Dricus Du Plessis confirmed he outgrappled Israel Adesanya. Everything else, though, he claims is false.
“We trained in Thailand together,” said Du Plessis. “I think I was 19 years old at the time. He had quite a record in MMA already back then. I was 3-0 when we trained together. He said I beat him in the grappling exchanges. He is 100 percent correct in that. I did manhandle him in the grappling and wrestling exchanges, but we did not do a single round of striking together. Not one.
“That was his way of saving himself, saying, ‘Yeah, but I beat him in the striking.’ We never did striking together,” continued Du Plessis. “Not one round. When we sparred, we grappled and we wrestled. We never did one single round of striking together. Not as far as I know and that’s something you would remember.”