We have a chat with 2 division EFC Champion & KSW welterweight champion after walking over the challenge of Roberto Soldic proving the South African champion is on another level altogether in the sport of MMA globally. At 24 years, the world is Dricus’ oyster and we’re incredibly excited to see where his career goes. MyCityByNight decided to find out a little bit more about what makes the champion tick in this exclusive interview.
MyCityByNight: Firstly, massive congratulations on your victory against Roberto Soldic in KSW for the welterweight title. Secondly, thanks for taking the time to chat to us… How’s everything been since the victory?
Dricus: Only a pleasure, thank you for having me. Everything has been absolutely amazing, the support from the SA fans have been awesome and I’m back in training getting ready for the next fight.
Dricus: Next will definitely be EFC again. I’m looking forward to defending my MW strap here in SA. I’ll be defending at KSW later this year definitely and yes the Polish fans are amazing, they love MMA and they have really been so welcoming towards me, as a fighter and now champion.
MCBN: What was it like fighting in front of an audience that size? How was the Polish reception pre and post-fight?
Dricus: It was amazing it was truly a dream come true, not only the crowd and the win but to go over and represent SA in the way I did was something I’ve always dreamt about. The fans in Poland have been great the reception pre and post fight was almost like I was from Poland.
MCBN: Obviously UFC is the next logical step. Is there anything currently in the pipeline or are your roots now firmly placed in EFC / KSW?
Dricus: Yes definitely one day but at this stage, KSW is treating me exceptionally well and it is a massive organization as well as EFC, I don’t plan on leaving for UFC any time soon or in the immediate future.
MCBN: Talk us through a day in the life of Dricus Du Plessis?
Dricus: My day starts around 06:00 a.m. I usually spend around 30-45 min on reading and some mental training and exercises with my mental Coach, then I have a morning session of either strength and conditioning or wrestling and grappling, another session during the Day mostly doing either reaction drills or pad work and then our team session from 17:00 to around 19:30 then I’m heading home and I’m usually in bed by around 21:30-22:00.
MCBN: You’re fighting under the CIT gym. Who are your training partners and how often are you training at the gym?
Dricus: Yes I’m training at CIT every single day with my head coach Morne Visser also my wrestling and grappling coach Attila Barna, and then I do fitness and conditioning with coach Scott MacIntosh, my training partners are very high level and they always get me ready for anything an opponent can throw at me. I train mainly with Michiel Opperman, Jeremy Smith, Douw Eksteen, my brother Niel du Plessis, Adam Speechly and also Garreth Buirski, he might be small but man that dude is strong!
MCBN: Who is your favourite fighter of all time?
Dricus: That’s a hard one, I love Anderson Silva, Conor Mcgregor, Mike Tyson, Bones Jones, and I’m also a very big fan of Mirco Cro Cop
MCBN: There is always that Soldierboy rematch the whole of South Africa would love to see. Is this something we, as the SA MMA fans, could ever see in the future?
Dricus: Yes that is a massive fight that myself and the fans would love to see happen, I won’t say it’s definitely happening but we’ll have to see how things play out in his career and mine, hopefully, we can make that fight happen in the future.
MCBN: Do you have any pre-fight superstitions?
Dricus: I don’t really believe in superstitions, but I guess you can say giving my dad a kiss and hug when I walk out has become a bit of a ritual for me, he’s always been there to support me throughout my whole fight career and without all the sacrifices from him and my mom I wouldn’t have been able to live my dream the way I am right now.
MCBN: If you could sign a fight right this minute against any opponent in the world, who would it be and why?
Dricus: I would probably have to say, Micky Gall, I don’t rate him that much and he’s made a good name for himself, so that would be a fight I feel I will definitely win and that will put me up high in the World rankings.
MCBN: What has been your favourite fight in your career? Talk us through that fight.
Dricus: Hardest fight where I was really pushed to the limit without a doubt my first main card fight against JC Lambrecht, it was a three round war but I got the finish in the third round, but wow that was one hell of a fight and we got FOTN. My favourite victory would have to be winning my second belt and beating Yannick Bahati in the first round in front of a very excited South African crowd and making history.
MCBN: Holding three belts is an incredible achievement for any fighter in the MMA world. You’ve done a massive amount for the sport in South Africa, how do you feel it has grown since EFC’s inception years ago?
Dricus: Absolutely, it’s something I’m thankful for every single day, it makes the hard work and sacrifices I make worth it 100%, and to know I’m doing my family, my country and everyone that supports me proud is a feeling like no other, I believe the sport of MMA has grown so unbelievably big in the last few years in SA and I also think this is still early stages, this sport is going to be massive in SA in the future I believe.
MCBN: Do you feel the move by EFC to bring in lots more foreign fighters is bringing in stronger athletes and better opponents for our South African fighters? Raising our current standard of training/fighting?
Dricus: 100% it made the organization competitive worldwide and it makes everyone fighting in the organization comparable to the rest of the world and that creates opportunities for SA and all EFC athletes to be recognized on the world stage, it also forces everyone fighting in the EFC to up their game if they want to win, it makes the EFC champions so much more credible.
MCBN: You have a long career ahead of you and staying at the top is a tough game. What motivates you to keep pushing harder and to continue?
Dricus: My ultimate goal is to be the greatest fighter of all time and that is absolutely all the motivation I need since being the GOAT is one hell of a task with some very tough competition.
MCBN: Where can your fans follow you online to keep up to date with your movements and upcoming fights?
Please follow my journey on Instagram: @dricusduplessis
Facebook: Dricus “Stillknocks” du Plessis
There are quite a few guys I think have the potential to become big stars in the MMA world guys like amateur Douw Eksteen, Camron Saaiman, Dimitri Fog, JT Botha then a few professional fighters like Marino Cutendana, Nerrik Simoes, Bokang, Zuluboy, Gary Joshua, Steven Consalves just to name a few.
MCBN: Thanks again for taking the time to chat to us – we’re already excited about your next fight.
Dricus: thank you very much for having me and supporting my journey, I will continue to fly the SA flag high and make everyone supporting me proud and I will continue to prove my support right and my doubters wrong