Dricus Du Plessis is one of the best fighters to come out of South Africa. While still young and hungry but with multiple championship experiences, “Stillknocks” is a threat to anyone in the Middleweight division.
At UFC Fight Night 188, South Africa’s Dricus “StillKnocks” du Plessis was meant to face America’s Trevin Giles in a promising middleweight bout. Du Plessis is the UFC’s latest prospect to come from the African continent, and supposedly tear his way into the middleweight division. Unfortunately, Du Plessis was unable to obtain a visa to travel due to covid-19 related restrictions and had to watch the event from his living room.
Who is this middleweight powerhouse and what are his chances of making his way to the top of the division? Below we take a look at the rise of one of South Africa’s best and try to dissect what makes this superstar worthy of taking on the best, in his quest to add UFC gold to his already extensive list of honors.
Dricus Du Plessis: Anatomy of a fighter
Dricus Du Plessis was born in Pretoria, South Africa, and would go on to become a 6ft 185-pound monster. Du Plessis previously competed in the welterweight and middleweight divisions where he won both titles. He turned pro in 2013 where he competed for Polish-based promotion KSW, he also won the welterweight title there.
He is a multi-division champ and has won titles and beaten people everywhere he has been, and the UFC is his next target. He is just as good at grappling as he is at striking. At just 27 years old, he keeps improving and is yet to hit his prime.
Dricus Du Plessis brings in a great balance to his fighting game. He has skills in kickboxing and grappling which makes him comfortable on his feet and on the ground. His fight IQ keeps improving and from a young age he has shown how natural he is when he steps in to fight. He is athletic, fast and agile but also has serious power in his hands.
Dricus Du Plessis: Career
Du Plessis started out his career in 2013 and amassed a 4-0 record before he was brought in to face veteran EFC middleweight champion Garreth McLellan. He would go on to lose that bout by submission, but that was not the end of the hype as he recovered to go on a claim the title a few years later.
Dricus Du Plessis was then tested abroad, where, as an underdog, he defeated the KSW welterweight Champion Roberto Soldić in a massive upset. He would subsequently lose in a rematch and fight once more for the promotion in a TKO victory before returning to EFC Africa to win the middleweight championship.
Dricus then made his UFC debut and defeated Marcuz Perez via KO. He has the opportunity to continue his momentum in the UFC and looks to remain undefeated, but he will hope that restrictions around the Covid-19 situation in South Africa eases so that there aren’t visa issues in the future.
He continues to train with incredibly gifted coach Morne Visser, and the pair look to keep improving and stay ready until the next fight opportunity comes their way. The future of the middleweight division is bright, and with talented prospects coming in from all around the world, Dricus aims to become a staple within the division.
South African fighters have been jumping abroad and impressing all around the world, and the young group of talented fighters that have been recruited certainly represent the growth of African MMA.
Dricus Du Plessis has always been a fighter to push boundaries and take risks. He fought for championships from a young age and has shown his desire to compete with the best. No doubt he will look to challenge in the middleweight division. but as he grows comfortable in the UFC, he might decide to test the waters in the welterweight division as well.
The future is bright and ready for this young star to grab with both hands and no doubt as he continues to impress and improve, a top 15 opponent might be in his sights. Dricus continues training out of South Africa and is an inspiration for many young South African’s that can take so much from him.
He set the bar for fighters that had to strive to push through to make it to the big stage and is a true representation of hard work, self-belief, and taking risks. Fight fans will be eager to wait on any announcements for his next fight, but for now, Dricus Du Plessis will be watching the middleweight closely as he continues to train and prepare for battle.
Where do you see Dricus Du Plessis ending the year 2021? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured Image Credits to Embed from Getty Images