clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dricus Du Plessis describes an African champion, questions past titleholders: ‘Did those belts ever go to Africa?’

Dricus Du Plessis aims to continue his push toward Middleweight gold at UFC 285 this weekend (Sat., March 4, 2023) .

Riding high off the momentum of six consecutive wins (four in UFC), Du Plessis can make a big leap in the rankings, defeating the No. 5-ranked perennial Top 10 contender, Derek Brunson. The No. 10-ranked “Still Knocks” has been a consummate entertainer during his fights, finishing three of his four UFC wins (two knockouts, one submission).

Since the now-former champions at Welterweight, Middleweight, and Heavyweight, Kamaru Usman, Israel Adesanya, and Francis Ngannou, became champions, the promotion has teased the concept of holding its first event on the continent of Africa. As a proud South Africa native, Du Plessis is ready to join that list and perhaps believes he’ll bring more legitimacy than his predecessors.

LIVE! Watch UFC 286 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

CHAMPIONSHIP TRILOGY! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to The O2 in London England, on Sat., March 18, 2023, with newly-minted Welterweight kingpin, Leon Edwards, running it back with former 170-pound champion, Kamaru Usman, for a third (and likely final) time. In UFC 286’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, all-action Lightweight knockout artists, Justin Gaethje and Rafael Fiziev, will lock horns with the winner inching closer to a future Lightweight title shot.

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

“Did those belts ever go to Africa?” Du Plessis asked at UFC 285 media day. “As far as I know, they came to America and New Zealand. I’m going to take a belt to Africa. I’m the African fighting in the UFC. Myself and Cameron [Saaiman], we breathe African air. We wake up in Africa every day. We train in Africa, we’re Africa born, we’re Africa raised, we still reside in Africa, we train out of Africa. That’s an African champion, and that’s who I’ll be.”

Du Plessis’ last victory was his biggest inside the Octagon, scoring a third-round rear-naked choke submission (watch highlights) over Darren Till in UFC 282’s Fight of the Night late last year (Dec. 2022).

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 285 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 285: “Jones vs. Gane” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania