UFC star Adesanya ticked off by 'real African' jibe

UFC star Israel Adesanya has found his Zen playing barefoot golf, but the mere mention of middleweight champion Dricus du Plessis is enough to get his blood boiling.

Adesanya and du Plessis will lock horns at Perth's RAC Arena on August 18 with the middleweight belt on the line.

The pair are sworn enemies, with Adesanya still fuming at previous comments from du Plessis in which the South African said he wanted to become the "first real African champ".

Adesanya, a two-time UFC champion who was born in Nigeria but spent a big part of his childhood in New Zealand, took offence to that comment given there had already been a number of champions from Africa, including himself.

The 34-year-old let his feelings known on Wednesday when he came face to face with du Plessis at a tense press conference in Perth.

"He tried to discredit three kings and say he's the real true African champion," Adesanya said.

"It's a weird mindset. He came into UFC, I knew who he was a little bit. But I didn't go, 'Who the f*** is this fake dude coming in?'

"I just said, 'Cool, there's another African in the UFC'.

"But for him to discredit me, Francis Ngannou, Kamaru Usman, that ticked me off a little bit.

"That's what started this, but again I'll finish it."

Du Plessis clarified what he meant by his previous comments.

"I never discredited anybody," he said.

"Stating fact - where do I reside? What's my postal code? Where do I train? Where do I live? Where was I born - in South Africa.

"I'm still there, still training. I won this belt from South Africa. I didn't travel anywhere else. That was the only thing I stated.

"I never discredited anybody. Quite frankly, I don't really care how it rubbed him up the wrong way."

Adesanya butted in with: I don't give a f*** where he's from, but I'll show him who he is."

"Yeah, whatever that means," du Plessis replied.

"I'm glad you took up golf, because it's a retirement sport. I can understand you start playing golf."

Dricus du Plessis.
Dricus du Plessis reacts after beating Aussie Robert Whittaker in Las Vegas 12 months ago. (AP PHOTO)

The golf jibe came after Adesanya had spoken fondly about how the sport had helped him wind down during his 11-month break from UFC fighting.

Adesanya had been left burnt out by a schedule that saw him fight five times in 18 months, and the time away from the sport has left him feeling refreshed and raring to go.

"Bro, if you had told me two years ago that I would love golf - what?" he said.

"But it's something different from my day to day. Every day is a hard grind, and golfing, it's a way for me to get into nature. It's slow paced.

"I'm that dude on the course who takes his shoes off because I like to earth, and I get weird looks.

"But I'm like, 'Bro, take your shoes off, it will feel nice'.

Adesanya and du Plessis engaged in a testy 80-second stare down after the press conference, with organisers forced to break it up.