Dricus du Plessis signs with the UFC
The time has come!
After years of hard work and belief, it has finally come to fruition.
Mzansi’s (South Africa's) own, Dricus du Plessis (14-2) has made the transition onto the biggest mixed martial arts platform, the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
After making history on various levels - being one of the youngest Extreme Fighting Champions’ title holders, he also became the first man to capture two belts (Welterweight and Middleweight) in the organisation before putting Poland’s KSW welterweight bout over his shoulder, too, making him a multiple-promotion and division champion with three different belts in two promotions.
Through all these impressive achievements, fans have been baying for the man to earn his spot among the elite - arguing that it was way overdue.
Prior to signing with the UFC, the CIT athlete - based in Hatfield, Pretoria - has been in various contract talks with global organisations all of whom had keen interest in signing the 26-year-old, however, no deals could be made yet due to his commitment to KSW who refused to let him go early.
“We had massive offers from Ares Fighting Championship, Professional Fighters League, Rizin Fighting Federation, and the UFC, unfortunately no middle ground could be reached with myself and KSW. I did sign the contract and I take responsibility for that, my contract (was set to) ends October 31, anyway,” Dricus told Independent Media earlier this year.
Prior to signing with KSW, both it and the EFC had agreed that Dricus could represent both brands at the same time, and so when he was refused an early exit from KSW, the man agreed to stay active until the end of his contract by headlining the EFC’s return card post the coronavirus-enforced lockdown which saw all sports being shut down earlier this year.
With lockdown levels being eased - that card would have seen Dricus potentially take on former light heavyweight champion, Gideon Drotschie for the interim light heavyweight title following champion, Simon Biyong’s signing with Rizin Fighting Federation which could mean the end of Biyong’s visits to the EFC Hexagon.
The EFC’s VP and matchmaker, Graeme Cartmell, will have to come up with a new plan for his November card, but it’s certainly not a bad pain to have considering the major step being taken for yet another EFC athlete.
“Well done, Dricus, this is awesome news,” said Cartmell in a video post on social media.
“We know that he is going to make his mark in the (United) States (of America), as has (lightweight signing and former EFC champion) Don Madge and (former EFC light heavyweight and heavyweight king) Champion Dalcha. We are adding another really strong African to the UFC and we are 1000 percent behind Dricus.
“On a personal note, I am super proud to be part of this young man’s journey, to watch him grow from the first EFC event, up until today. Watching him become a two-division champion and a multiple promotion champion,” added Cartmell.
As per MMAJunkie, with Rodolfo Vieira out due to a rib injury, Dricus will step in to face Markus Perez at the UFC’s Oct. 10 event, which takes place at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Dricus’ last fight was a successful title defence over interim middleweight champion, Brendan Lesar last December
With the addition, the UFC’s Oct. 10 lineup now includes:
Marlon Moraes vs. Cory Sandhagen
Edson Barboza vs. Sodiq Yusuff
Dricus Du Plessis vs. Markus Perez
Seungwoo Choi vs. Youssef Zalal
Ben Rothwell vs. Marcin Tybura
Thomas Almeida vs. Alejandro Perez
Tracy Cortez vs. Bea Malecki
Chris Daukaus vs. Rodrigo Nascimento
Tom Aspinall vs. Serghei Spivac
Ali Alqaisi vs. Tony Kelley
Giga Chikadze vs. Omar Morales
Bruno Silva vs. Tagir Ulanbekov