Dricus Du Plessis has truly etched South African MMA onto the global stage.
In the recent UFC 297 headliner, Du Plessis showcased remarkable resilience to secure the middleweight title against Sean Strickland. With this victory, the former two-division EFC champion not only earned the UFC crown but also marked himself as South Africa’s inaugural UFC champion and the fourth African titleholder in the organization’s history.
Witness the overwhelming reception Du Plessis received upon arriving at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park. A massive crowd of fans gathered to show their support, creating an electrifying atmosphere as they cheered and chanted his name, as captured by eNCA.
The enthusiasm and energy of the fans welcoming Du Plessis can be experienced through this incredible point-of-view angle:
Dricus du Plessis Returns Home Following UFC 297
Having triumphed over Strickland, Du Plessis shifted his focus to a familiar name in the middleweight division, former champion Israel Adesanya. The two fighters had been on a collision course before, and Du Plessis wasted no time calling out Adesanya in his post-fight interview in the octagon.
“There was another guy who tried to take my shine,” Du Plessis expressed. “He lost his shine. Now, I have your shine. You didn’t get into the cage tonight, but Israel Adesanya, get your ass back in the UFC so we can settle the score.”
In this historic moment for South African MMA, Du Plessis’s accomplishment resonates not only in the octagon but also in the hearts of fans who passionately rallied behind their new champion. The monumental scenes at the airport and Du Plessis’s call-out to Adesanya add layers to the narrative of an emerging champion looking to solidify his legacy on the global stage.
Featured image credits to Embed from Getty Images