Dricus Du Plessis aims to continue his push toward Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight gold this weekend (Sat., March 4, 2023) at UFC 285.

Riding high off the momentum of six consecutive wins (four in UFC), Du Plessis can make a big leap in the rankings, defeating the No. 5-ranked perennial Top 10 contender, Derek Brunson. The No. 10-ranked “Still Knocks” has been a consummate entertainer during his fights, finishing three of his four UFC wins (two knockouts, one submission).

Since the now-former champions at Welterweight, Middleweight, and Heavyweight, Kamaru Usman, Israel Adesanya, and Francis Ngannou, became champions, the promotion has teased the concept of holding its first event on the continent of Africa. As a proud South Africa native, Du Plessis is ready to join that list and perhaps believes he’ll bring more legitimacy than his predecessors.

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HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION SUPER FIGHT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., March 4, 2023, with one of the biggest fights in its history as No. 1-ranked Heavyweight contender, Ciryl Gane, and former Light Heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, collide in a “super” fight for the vacant undisputed Heavyweight title. In UFC 285’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, women’s Flyweight roost-ruler, Valentina Shevchenko — UFC’s current longest-reigning champion — defends her 125-pound title against Mexico’s Alexa Grasso.

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“Did those belts ever go to Africa?” Du Plessis asked at UFC 285 media day. “As far as I know, they came to America and New Zealand. I’m going to take a belt to Africa. I’m the African fighting in the UFC. Myself and Cameron [Saaiman], we breathe African air. We wake up in Africa every day. We train in Africa, we’re Africa born, we’re Africa raised, we still reside in Africa, we train out of Africa. That’s an African champion, and that’s who I’ll be.”

Du Plessis’ last victory was his biggest inside the Octagon, scoring a third-round rear-naked choke submission (watch highlights) over Darren Till in UFC 282’s Fight of the Night late last year (Dec. 2022).

Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 285 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

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