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By Clinton Jones

Sports Editor

Dricus du Plessis geared up and ready for toughest fight of his UFC career

Du Plessis will take on dangerous Australian Robert Whittaker in a No 1 contender bout.

South African mixed martial arts (MMA) star Dricus du Plessis faces the toughest fight of his career so far when he steps into the octagon in the early hours of Sunday morning (SA time).

But as he admits, this is what has happened every time Du Plessis has fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

The only difference this time round is the large amount of media attention he has received in the build-up to UFC290 in Las Vegas.

Du Plessis will take on dangerous Australian Robert Whittaker in a No 1 contender bout, with the winner going on to fight for the middleweight title.

The South African goes into the fight as the betting underdog with most of the MMA fraternity writing him off even before he has entered the octagon, but that does not bug him in the slightest.

ALSO READ: South Africa has what it takes to host a UFC extravaganza

“I don’t really care about proving people wrong. For me it is more about proving people right,” Du Plessis told the media earlier this week.

“Odds don’t win fights, fighters win fights, and I am a fighter so all those who have written me off will soon find out if they make it to the top of the pile.”

Aussie Whittaker – a former undisputed middleweight champion – knows not to underestimate Du Plessis.

“He is the most dangerous fight I have had to date. He’s the unknown. He’s the underdog with nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Whittaker said.

“He is definitely going to get the best version of me.”

Saaiman on prelim card

Meanwhile, rising South African bantamweight Cameron Saaiman will put his undefeated record on the line when he takes on UFC debutant Terrence Mitchell in a match-up on the prelim card.

Saaiman has been on a tear since making his UFC debut and the 22-year-old will be looking for another dominant performance as he also seeks a title fight in the future.

UFC290 is the culmination of International Fight Week and the MMA spectacular will end with two blockbuster title fights.

The co-main event will feature flyweight champ Brandon Moreno against his quiet nemesis, top contender Alexandre Pantoja.

The main event will determine who reigns supreme in the featherweight division, as long-reigning title holder Alexander Volkanovski squares off against interim champ Yair Rodriguez in a captivating title unification bout.

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Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)

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