SA’s Dricus du Plessis and Cameron Saaiman claim victory at UFC 282 bouts in Vegas
In typical Dricus du Plessis (18-2) fashion, the burly South African came out guns blazing in his middleweight clash with Briton Darren Till (18-5-1) on Sunday morning in Las Vegas.
The combination of haymakers and takedowns thrown by Du Plessis saw him winning the first round relatively easily at UFC 282 at the T-Mobile Arena.
However, the opening five-minute slugfest seemed to completely tire Du Plessis, as evidenced by his breathing heavily through his mouth in the second round.
Till had a solid second round, exploiting the tiring South African with his massive left hand.
But after five minutes of rest in the second, Du Plessis was re-energised and secured an early takedown in the third round before locking Till in a rear-naked chokehold which forced the Liverpudlian to tap and hand Du Plessis his fourth successive win at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and his first on a main card.
“The gas tank can never be empty,” Du Plessis said after the gruelling battle.
“It can go a little bit low but it never goes empty. Third round, it comes down to that dog and who is the toughest. Bring on that last round, we are always going to win it.
“I just beat freaking Darren Till, how awesome is that? Hello, top 10,” he exclaimed in the ring.
The victory means Du Plessis remains undefeated in the UFC and breaks into the top 10 of the middleweight rankings in his quest to take the throne currently held by Alex Pereira.
“I just got a proper stamp in a Fight of the Night, in the top 10 of the division,” Du Plessis said.
“I said in my last fight that I will be in the top 10 before the end of the year. Here I am, and I’m telling you guys now, I’ll be a title contender by the end of 2023.”
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Another South African stepped into the octagon a few hours before Du Plessis’ historic victory. His training partner, Cameron Saaiman (7-0), made his UFC debut in the early prelims.
Saaiman and Steven Koslow (6-1), who was also making his UFC debut, partook in an intriguing match, displaying tactical nous beyond both bantamweight fighters’ years (Saaiman ...