Report: Ex-KSW Champ Dricus du Plessis Signs With UFC, Debuts at UFC Fight Night 179

By Jay Pettry Sep 24, 2020

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A big South African prospect has been let out of his KSW contract and has opted to sign with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

According to a report from Combate on Thursday, Dricus du Plessis (14-2) has secured his release from KSW after battling with the Polish promotion the last few months. Du Plessis will be stepping in on short notice in a middleweight bout against Markus Perez (12-3) at UFC Fight Night 179, which will be held on Oct. 10 at the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Perez was originally scheduled to face the undefeated grappling phenom Rodolfo Vieira, but Vieira suffered a rib injury and was forced to withdraw from the contest. “Maluko” called out several opponents including Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland, but the organization elected to sign du Plessis instead.

Du Plessis bounced back from his first knockout loss – and a KSW championship defeat – to Roberto Soldic in 2018 with two finishes. Moving back to the middleweight division, “Stillknocks” smashed Joilton Lutterbach at KSW 50 before returning to EFC in South Africa to defend his strap against Brendan Lesar in December.

Since signing with the UFC, Perez has alternated wins and losses in the form of three unanimous decision defeats and two submission wins. Of note, Perez became the first man to beat former Legacy Fighting Alliance 185-pound champ Anthony Hernandez. Three-quarters of Perez’ career wins have come by finish, including tapouts in his last three victories over Hernandez, James Bochnovic and Ian Heinisch.

UFC Fight Night 179 on Oct. 10 will be held on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where it will be headlined by a bantamweight scrap between Marlon Moraes and Cory Sandhagen. The bout order of the card is not yet set, although main card matchups will likely include a heavyweight tilt of Ben Rothwell vs. Marcin Tybura, with Edson Barboza reportedly facing Makwan Amirkhani at featherweight.

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