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Du Plessis-Adesanya to headline UFC 305 in Australia

Jeff Bottari / UFC / Getty

UFC middleweight champion Dricus Du Plessis will defend his title against former 185-pound king Israel Adesanya in the main event of UFC 305 in Perth, Australia, on Aug. 17.

The ex-two-time champion announced his return on social media Monday, and UFC CEO Dana White later confirmed the bout during an appearance on "The Jim Rome Show," according to Damon Martin of MMA Fighting.

Du Plessis won the belt in January with a split-decision victory over Sean Strickland, who pulled off a big upset against Adesanya to claim gold in September 2023.

Adesanya hasn't fought since the decision loss to Strickland, opting to take an extended break after being one of the UFC's most active champions. The 34-year-old has fought nine times, all title fights, since March 2020.

Adesanya and Du Plessis appeared set to fight next after a heated faceoff inside the Octagon following the latter's TKO win over Robert Whittaker last July. But Du Plessis couldn't compete due to a foot injury, and Strickland was granted a title shot instead.

Adesanya, who started his career with 20 straight victories, has suffered two of his three career defeats in his last three fights. Longtime kickboxing rival Alex Pereira knocked Adesanya out for the first time in his career in November 2022, with Adesanya returning the favor in a rematch five months later to regain his belt.

Du Plessis has won all seven of his UFC fights since joining the promotion in October 2020.

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