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By Clinton Jones

Sports Editor

UFC star Du Plessis believes stars have aligned for Vegas fight

The man known as "Still Knocks" will be taking on American Trevin Giles in his second outing in the UFC in the prelims for UFC264 in Las Vegas.

The notorious Conor McGregor might be headlining one of the biggest cards in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the early hours of Sunday morning, but South African mixed martial arts fans will be waking up earlier to support their own superstar.

Dricus du Plessis will be taking on American Trevin Giles in his second outing in the UFC in the prelims for UFC264 in Las Vegas.

The man affectionately known as “Still Knocks” – after a really strong sleeping tablet – made an impressive debut in the sport’s premier organisation over nine months ago when he finished off his opponent in the second round.

But the road to Vegas has not been a smooth one as this fight was originally scheduled for March but was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

First fight

“Obviously the first fight not happening was a bit of a bummer, but the world is a very strange place right now.

“And here we are. Bigger card, same opponent, just everything is bigger,” Du Plessis said at a media scrum earlier this week.

Luckily all the preparation this time went according to plan and despite South Africa being pushed into a Level 4 lockdown, Du Plessis was able to take the flight to the United States.

Stars aligning

“When the stars align, they align. Just as they will align in the octagon come Saturday night,” he added.

Du Plessis – known for his explosive fight style – has 15 wins in 17 fights, all of his wins coming by the way of a finish and he plans to continue this streak against Giles.

“I respect Trevin immensely. He is a great guy. A family guy. But at the end of the day, I do not care if you are a nice guy, or an a******, I am going to try and finish you.

“When I step in the octagon, all I see is a blank face, a guy standing in the way of my dreams. He is just one step in the ladder to reaching my goals.”

In the spotlight

Du Plessis is no stranger to the spotlight, becoming the first athlete in Africa’s Extreme Fighting Championship to hold two titles simultaneously.

He then made his way to Europe where he captured the welterweight title in Polish-based promotion KSW on his debut in that organisation.

Asked to give a prediction for the main event between McGregor and Dustin Poirier, he was very complimentary of both fighters.

“They are both great fighters and obviously Conor is a great pioneer to the sport and does amazing things.

“I believe Conor has made the necessary changes from the second fight and will come back as a new beast,” he said.

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