Dricus Du Plessis defied the odds at UFC 290 tonight (Sat., July 8, 2023) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, by not just beating Robert Whittaker, but making it look almost easy. Prior to this, Whittaker was the Max Holloway of Middleweight: the man who kept knocking back all the potential title contenders at the top of the division. But, Du Plessis cleared the gate, knocking out Whittaker in the second round of their fight.
As the fight started it looked like Whittaker might run away with it. He was sharp and he was fast. He had Du Plessis running into his jab, and was leaping forward with tight powerful hooks. But Du Plessis continued to charge forward and throw. He knocked Whittaker down in the first round and bloodied him. He used his size to bully Whittaker, and clearly took the first.
In the second, he continued his pressure, catching “The Reaper” and stunning him. After a moment to ensure it wasn’t a trap, “Still Knocks” charged in for the kill, earning a technical knockout win and a title shot against Israel Adesanya.
Watch the highlights and finish from the fight, care of ESPN:
Dricus Du Plessis stops Robert Whittaker!!!!! pic.twitter.com/xncOZNeJ9C— MMA Mania (@mmamania) July 9, 2023
With that win, Du Plessis moves to 6-0 in UFC and 20-2 across mixed martial arts (MMA). Whittaker, meanwhile, drops to 24-7 and 1-2 over his last three bouts.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 290 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard bouts on ABC/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 290: “Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the updated and finalized UFC 290 fight card and PPV lineup click here.