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By Clinton Jones

Sports Editor

‘I’m a main card fighter’: Another UFC win for Du Plessis

Never one to shy away from his roots, Du Plessis gave a nod to his fans back home.

South African mixed martial arts star Dricus du Plessis followed up his impressive Ultimate Fighting Championship debut with an equally impressive showing in his second outing at UFC264 on Saturday.

Opening the prelims on the card headlined by the third fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, Du Plessis again showed he is one of the best middleweights from Africa when he knocked out American Trevin Giles in the second round, earning himself a $75 000 performance bonus.

Asked whether he was now eyeing a bigger name in the organisation, Du Plessis was humble in his response.

“This was only my second fight in the UFC. I am still finding a home for myself here,” he said.

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He did, however, feel that he had been groomed for the big stage long enough to be seen as a real threat.

“Obviously fighting on the Conor card is a massive deal for me and I am very happy to be on such a card, but I am not a prelim fighter,” Du Plessis said.

“I have had three world titles outside of the UFC and hopefully now the lesson is learnt. I am a main card fighter.”

Never one to shy away from his roots, he gave another nod to his fans back home.

“South Africa is going absolutely mad now. The whole country was watching. The support was amazing,” he said.

“Getting this second victory was massive for me and for my country.

“To see South Africa united and come together for me is amazing.”

With three other African-born fighters currently holding UFC titles – Kamaru Usman (welterweight), Israel Adesanya (middleweight) and Francis Ngannou (heavyweight) – Du Plessis called on the organisation to consider hosting an event on the continent, though he urged them to head to SA, rather than Nigeria or Cameroon.

“There is only one place the UFC can come to in Africa, and that is South Africa,” he said.

“I can promise you now if they take it there I will be bigger than all three of those champions.”

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