Michael Bisping expects ‘one of the most dangerous, nasty versions of Israel Adesanya’ vs. Dricus Du Plessis

Michael Bisping thinks Dricus Du Plessis has lit a fire under Israel Adesanya.

Middleweight champion Du Plessis (21-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) aims to make his first title defense against former champ Adesanya (24-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) in the UFC 305 headliner Aug. 17 at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia (ESPN+ pay-per-view, ESPN, ESPN+).

Du Plessis and Adesanya traded barbs during Tuesday’s UFC 305 on-sale press conference, with Du Plessis saying after that Adesanya is “trying to convince himself that he still wants to be here.”

“That’s kind of harsh words for Israel Adesanya to hear, and for Israel, that’s going to motivate him big time,” Bisping said on his YouTube channel. “That’s going to piss him off. That’s going to grind his gears.

“That’s going to get in his head. Tat is going to force him to train his ass off, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see one of the most dangerous, nasty versions of Israel Adesanya that we’ve seen.”

The last time Adesanya suffered a big loss was a TKO to Alex Pereira in their middleweight title fight at UFC 281. He was able to avenge his loss in emphatic fashion by knocking out Pereira to reclaim his belt at UFC 287. He then lost his title in a surprise upset to Sean Strickland at UFC 293.

Since then, Pereira’s career has flourished. He moved up to light heavyweight and has already notched two title defenses. Bisping thinks that has to be playing in Adesanya’s head as well.

“Last time he was embarrassed against Alex Pereira, what did he do? He came back and he knocked out Alex ‘Poatan’ Pereira – the (current) bell of the ball, one of the top pound-for-pound fighters, a two-weight champion, and the biggest star in all of mixed martial arts,” Bisping said.

“That’s another thing: Don’t think that that’s not pissing Izzy off, either. Of course it is. Izzy was the man. Now he’s fallen off. Somebody else has got his belt. His former opponent, his former rival, his former nemesis is now who Izzy was. is now the biggest star in the sport. Everyone’s loving the guy. That is pissing Izzy off, as well. So as I say, I think he’s going to be very, very dangerous.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 305.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie