Dricus Du Plessis Confident Ahead of KSW 43 Title Clash
On April 14, 2018 Dricus Du Plessis will make his KSW debut in a welterweight title fight against current champion Roberto Soldic. Prior to his fight, Du Plessis spoke to MMAToday about how he feels he matches up with Soldic, his background, future plans and what he likes to do outside of the cage.
Du Plessis was already scheduled to compete for the KSW Welterweight Title at KSW 41 at the end of 2017. Unfortunately for the South African, he injured his hand three weeks prior to the fight and was forced to pull out. Despite the setback, Du Plessis did not hang his head as he understood that it was the nature of the fight game.
Du Plessis was cage side at KSW 41 as his short notice replacement Roberto Soldic put a beating on then-champion Borys Mankowski on his way to winning the title. Following his win, Soldic jumped the cage and shoved Du Plessis. After this incident, Du Plessis was confident that he would get another chance to fight for the title. Despite the opponent being different this time, Du Plessis is not bothered.
“I don’t care about the opponent, I just care about fighting for the belt.”
Although he was impressed by Solid’s title-winning performance, Du Plessis believes that the Mankowski that showed up that night was not the one that he was preparing for. It took Roberto Soldic three rounds to finish Mankowski while Du Plessis thinks that if he were in the cage, Mankowski would not have made it out of the opening round.
“If I fought that Boris on that night, I would have destroyed him in round one.”
Du Plessis is complimentary of his opponent’s skills. He believes that the Croat’s best weapons coming from his left side, most namely his left high kick which he used to knock out Lewis Long at Cage Warriors 87. However, Du Plessis has questions about the champion’s ground game.
“He is a tough guy. His record speaks for itself, he is a brilliant fighter but I honestly don’t he’s fought anybody like me before.”
“I could see on the ground, Soldic is not comfortable there. He doesn’t really know what to do on the ground.”
Despite being confident that he has a significant advantage on the ground, the South African will not be shooting for takedowns from the get-go. Instead, he will look to utilise the full array of his skills in order to defeat the champion.
“Soldic has a very very narrow-minded way of fighting (…) I am just better in MMA, 100%.”
— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) August 19, 2017
Before coming over to the Poland based promotion, Du Plessis was a two-division champion in Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC). Having captured the Middleweight title with a submission win over fellow KSW 43 competitor Yannick Bahati. Despite no longer being under a contract with EFC, Du Plessis is in negotiations to defend his Middleweight title one more time.
Having begun training in judo at the age of five before undertaking kickboxing at 14, Du Plessis has a lifetime of experience in various martial arts. Du Plessis describes his relationship with mixed martial arts as ‘love at first sight’ which makes sense considering that he abandoned his studies in order to pursue a career in the sport. Du Plessis’ nickname – ‘Stillknocks,’ stems from his amateur K-1 career where he has an impressive record of 30 knockouts in 33 fights.
— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) December 9, 2016
Training out of the Pretoria based ‘Team CIT,’ Du Plessis is very complimentary of the set up he has around.
“I have everything I need to be the greatest fighter in the world.”
Despite his utmost admiration for his current team, Du Plessis is more than willing to travel the world and train at other camps. Every year he makes the trip to Thailand to train at the famed ‘Tiger Muay Thai’ gym. Furthermore, during his trip to Poland at the end of last year, Du Plessis got some training done with his former opponent Rafal Haratyk at ‘DAAS Berserker’s’. Whilst in the near future, Du Plessis is looking to make the trip to the United States in order to sharpen his skills.
Outside of the cage, Du Plessis is somewhat of an adrenaline junkie and undertakes a variety of activities such as downhill mountain biking and river rafting. ‘Stillknocks’ believes that his love for extreme sports has a beneficial impact on his fighting career as it helps him to handle high-pressure situations in a calm manner.
“Anything that gets the adrenaline pumping, I’m in for it.”
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