Israel Adesanya was likely to clash with Dricus du Plessis at UFC 293 after du Plessis’s win over Robert Whittaker, but ‘Stillknocks’ withdrew from the match due to an injury. Sean Strickland replaced him and dominated Adesanya, becoming the new champion. Adesanya announced an extended break from fighting after this defeat and joked about returning in 2027, which du Plessis questioned during an interview.
Whittaker expressed his thoughts on Adesanya’s break, acknowledging the challenges fighters face beyond what the public sees. He mentioned that Adesanya has the luxury to take a break with his financial security and legacy.