Dricus Du Plessis is in the enviable position of being in a likely title eliminator tonight at UFC 290. He’ll be facing off against Number 2 ranked Robert Whittaker in what will be his toughest challenge to date. Whittaker has a much more complete skillset than Du Plessis, and it is that gulf in skill that’s been noticed and commented on by many in the community.
Known for sudden flashes of power and a wild fighting style that is often described as defensively unsound, Du Plessis certainly has his work cut our for him with Bobby Knuckles. And should he end up getting the victory, he’ll still have to contend with the reigning champion, Israel Adesanya. As a matter of fact, some of his fellow UFC fighters are throwing their two cents in on Dricus’ chances at attaining UFC gold.
Fighters critique Dricus Du Plessis
“This motherf—ker is the worst best fighter in the whole UFC. The first time that I watched this motherf—ker fight, it was UFC Fight Night in 2020 against Markus Perez… He (Perez) was doing very good in the fight and he tried like, an elbow, and he got caught by this guy. I tell you something, you could see he’s (Du Plessis’) a tough dude, he’s tall, he’s strong, a lot of power. But let me tell you f*cking something, his technique is one of the worst. Worst technique ever.”
He went on further, discussing Du Plessis’ fight with Trevin Giles, and how he put $1k on Giles.
“He was losing the fight, and I’m gonna tell you something. Back in the day, when we were allowed to bet, I put I think $1,000 on Trevin Giles. I thought, ‘There’s no way this motherf—ker is going to lose to Dricus Du Plessis.’ Guess what? He did, and I lose money on this motherf—ker. After that James Krause stuff, we are not allowed to bet anymore, and I’m glad!”
But we’re not going to stop here. Bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley also had some zingers of his own when he weighed in on the South African’s comments that he’d roughed up Adesanya in a previous training session. ‘Suga’ offered up the following on his podcast:
“The thing about that, [it was] so long ago, it doesn’t matter. Especially if it’s just grappling, or just kickboxing. That doesn’t necessarily translate into a fight, into a cage, into that big moment when you guys fight. Izzy was probably just kickboxing, so I don’t think too much of that, I think he smokes DDP.”
Finally, we have our third fighter, and one with a slightly more balanced view. This time, a champion in Alexander Volkanovski, who had this to say about Dricus Du Plessis on his Youtube channel during a video breakdown of the UFC 290 card:
“There’ll be a lot of hype if [Dricus du Plessis] was to be able to beat Robert Whittaker. But, beating Robert Whittaker is not going to be easy for him. Again, he could be a great fighter but Robert Whittaker, he’s too well-rounded, he’s too good everywhere and his skill set is gonna be too much. You know, you’re being mad to think that Dricus can get it done. Obviously, [it’s] entertaining for the underdog to get a big win but not against someone like Rob Whittaker… If the next guy’s fighting for the title out of that fight, it’s gonna have to be Rob. I cannot see Rob lose in that fight.” -transcription via Sportskeeda
It’s not outside the realm of possibility for DDP to get the win. He has the raw talent to get it done. He has an insanely good second wind, a one-hitter-quitter and a decent submission game. It’s his willingness to take a ridiculous amount of punishment that gives myself and many others pause. Only Saturday will tell us if Dricus Du Plessis is ready for the next step.
UFC 290 particulars
Whether you’re a Robert Whittaker fan or a Dricus Du Plessis fan, you’ll want the details for UFC 290 and I happen to have those.
UFC 290: Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez takes place on July 8th at the the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event starts at 10 p.m. ET. The prelims begin at 8 p.m. ET and the early prelims go live at 6 p.m. ET.
UFC 290 is available on ESPN+ PPV for $79.99 for current subscribers. New subscribers can pay $124.98 for the UFC 288 pay-per-view and an ESPN+ annual subscription. The event is scheduled to start live at 6:00pm ET, 3pm PT, with the early prelims on the ESPN+ streaming platform in the US, as well as Fight Pass. The PPV main card is to kick off at 10:00pm ET, 7:00pm PT. For full streaming details, and compatible devices go here.
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