The darling of South African mixed martial arts, Dricus du Plessis (16-2) earned himself a $75 000 performance bonus after an emphatic display at UFC264 this morning (SAST).

Under the bright lights of the sold-out T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas – building up to the much-anticipated trilogy fight between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor – Dricus reaffirmed his star-power and skill to the world when he beat the dangerous (and higher-ranked) Trevin Giles (14-3) in their prelim middleweight bout.

Following his short-notice UFC debut fight and first round knockout (KO) over Brazil’s Markus Perez late last year, Dricus finished the USA’s Trevin with a second round KO.

Leading into the fight, Dricus acknowledged Trevin’s fast hands and explosive power and it is also well-documented that he has good takedown defence and a decent ground game.

However, in round one, the cerebral Dricus seemed to subdue any explosive power of Giles and worked his beautiful grappling that has seen him come home with many submission wins. Dricus constantly looked for the finish while having Trevin in mount which saw the South African claim round one with a 10-9 scorecard across the board.

In the second round, Dricus opted to stay on his feet, luring Trevin in who dropped some good shots before the Pretorian delivered a devastating right hand down the centre amid an exchange which saw Trevin hit the Octagon canvas before Dricus finished the fight off taking his UFC record to 2-0.

“I knew there was a place for the straight right,” said Dricus after the fight.

“My first fight was a knockout with a left hook. I just knocked out a capable striker with a clean right hand, I’m happy I got that right hand finally. It felt amazing to be here, and what a spectacular guy to fight,” said Dricus who was very vocal about his admiration for family man and Houston Police officer, Trevin.

“People need to start taking notice. I’ve proven that I have power in both hands. You also better watch out and keep those chins tucked because I’m either going to knockout you out or choke you.”

Dricus soaked the moment all in and just fed off the energy of the crowd and the moment.

“My first one was a short-notice debut and now I’m on a Conor McGregor undercard. I told them I’m not an undercard fighter and they’re making a mistake putting me on the prelims. Hopefully I don’t see the prelims ever again. Before I came out, I told my team, ‘Let’s go say goodbye to the prelims. It’s the main card from here.’

“I’m starting to find a home in the Octagon. It’s only my second fight. I’m getting comfortable every fight. By the end of the year I want another build-up fight and crack the top 20. Then I’ll start climbing to that title run,” added Dricus.

The main event saw Dusting Poirier beat Conor McGregor via a TKO doctor’s stoppage after the Irishman who appeared to have broken his leg/ankle in a freak accident shortly after trying to land a blow on his opponent in the first round.

Dricus will most certainly climb the middleweight rankings now after beating an opponent ranked just outside the top 20.

Editor@tech-talk.co.za

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