Dricus du Plessis: Top 5 UFC Finishes

With nineteen confirmed kills on his resume, Dricus du Plessis is perhaps the true definition of the ultimate finisher.

Born January 14th, 1994, du Plessis grew up in Welkom, Orange Free State, South Africa, a mining city that found its roots in the gold rush in the 1890s, and Dricus himself would grow up to be the first South African to win gold in the UFC.

His route into the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) began at the age of just five, when he first took up judo. By twelve, he started wrestling, and at fourteen he added kickboxing to his locker.

In 2012, Dricus du Plessis became the first South African to win a gold medal at the World Association Kickboxing Organisation (WAKO) world championship and, at the age of eighteen, he rejected a scholarship at the University of Pretoria to pursue his dream of an MMA career.

With nine knockouts, ten submissions and currently on a nine-fight win streak, ‘Stillknocks’ has established himself as one of the division’s most entertaining fighters.

Du Plessis makes it his goal to not only win the fight, but to win it in style, and very rarely does he leave it in the judge’s hands.

His MMA highlight reel is a treasury without exceptions, so get ready as we countdown Dricus du Plessis’ Top 5 UFC Finishes! (in descending order)

5. Vs. Darren Till – UFC 282 (Dec. 10, 2022)

Given Darren Till’s lack of ground superiority, the Englishman trained with close friend Khamzat Chimaev to polish his grappling credentials in preparation for this fight. Sure enough, Dricus du Plessis was going to put that to the test.

Only twenty seconds into the first round, the South African had scored his first takedown.

What followed was a brutal onslaught with du Plessis taking full control on the ground, delivering twenty-four head strikes within the first minute.

By 3:00, DDP started to dominate his opposition, landing around five or six heavy shots that rocked Till’s jaw. So bad was the beatdown that Till had to verbally state that he was still conscious to the referee, with du Plessis maintaining a predator-like patience to score his second takedown in the opening round.

At 1:29, Till finally got back on his feet but the damage was evident, as his left eye was almost swollen shut.

By 1:13, Dricus had delivered his sixtieth significant strike (yes, 60) whilst Till was yet to register a single one, Jesus!

By the end of the first, Dricus had three successful takedowns and just under seventy significant strikes, a 10-8 round that most fighters would not survive.

A credit to the Liverpool-born fighter’s stamina, Till managed to pull things back in the second, with DDP looking exhausted in-between rounds.

The first minute saw Till go on the offensive, with du Plessis looking content with sitting back and defending as he recharged his energy.

Entering the third minute, Till looked to be the more confident fighter, with DDP walking straight into a huge elbow as he tried to maintain the distance, yet somehow the South African appeared unfazed.

At 3:20, Till delivers a beautiful knee, again set up by Dricus attempting to go on the offensive but being countered brilliantly, but du Plessis shows his quality by immediately going in for his fourth successful takedown of the fight.

Till continues to maintain the pressure and again delivers a heavy counter, this time a brutal elbow strike that du Plessis walks face-first into. It could have been a 10-8 round, but du Plessis lands his fifth takedown at 1:06 and controls the rest of the round, ensuring the South African is still ahead on the judges’ cards.

Entering the third and final round, both fighters appear fatigued.

The first two minutes see’s both fighters exchanging shots, with du Plessis gradually reasserting his dominance in the octagon.

At 3:28, DDP delivers a solid counter over the top but Till continues to maintain his distance with a strong jab.

As Till looks increasingly exhausted, Dricus seizes the opportunity and lands his sixth takedown with 2:26 on the clock, before delivering the finishing sequence on the ground.

With Till flat out on the canvas, du Plessis delivers a barrage of devastating strikes which force Till onto his back. In full control, du Plessis’s predator-like instincts kick in and he immediately applies a full force face crank, forcing Till to tap just seconds later.

4. Vs. Derek Brunson – UFC 285 (Mar. 4, 2023)

Du Plessis took on his most experienced opponent so far at UFC 285 when he faced top-ranked middleweight veteran Derek Brunson, who, despite being nearly forty years old, was still the 5th ranked fighter in the division.

Brunson is a formidable, heavy-hitter who’s also a conditioned grappler that’s scored big victories over the likes of Kevin Holland, Uriah Hall, Lyoto Machida and Darren Till.

By an intense 10 minutes in, both men had had their moments. The fast-paced action suggested from early on that this fight would not go the distance.

The first round saw a lot of grappling, with Brunson scoring a handful of takedowns and largely controlling the opening three minutes. In a rather unusual grappling exchange, both fighters attempted leg submissions simultaneously before Brunson controlled the rest of the round with some solid boxing.

Going into the second, Brunson had appeared to have emptied his gas tank faster than a Domino’s delivery driver on a busy Saturday night.

Dricus quickly reversed the momentum with a massive leg kick that hurt Brunson and largely disabled his movements.

With the American visibly exhausted and struggling on his feet, DDP kicked into high gear and waited for his moment to finish the fight.

That moment came when Brunson threw a charging flurry of punches, which DDP responded to with a pinpoint combination of punches with a hard right hand flooring his opponent.

On the canvas, Brunson was in survival mode, and with his opponent stunned, du Plessis snuck in a massive left hand that clattered Brunson’s head off the canvas in the final seconds of the second, forcing Brunson’s team to throw in the towel.

Earning his seventh successive victory, du Plessis shot up the rankings with this statement win and hollered his credentials as one of the top challengers in the middleweight division.

3. Vs. Markus Perez – UFC FN 179 (Oct. 11, 2020)

Dricus du Plessis was introduced to the UFC by the Brazilian Markus Perez, a fighter with eleven stoppages under his belt.

Perez had provided all the entertainment by playing the joker pre-fight (literally, he turned up to the weigh-ins in full Joker face paint), but it was du Plessis who had all the fun once the first bell went.

Displaying his striking prowess, Perez had no response to the South African’s overwhelming striking, and the fight would last just over a minute.

As Perez ducked to avoid an overhand right, he was caught flush by a short-left that sent the Brazilian crashing to the canvas, out-cold.

This earned du Plessis a statement TKO victory and a memorable introduction to the UFC.

2. Trevin Giles – UFC 264 (July 10, 2021)

With the pre-fight odds being near even, this highly anticipated bout saw du Plessis face a more than capable opponent.

A powerful striker, Giles was coming into this fight off the back of three consecutive wins which included the likes of James Krause and Roman Dolidze, but DDP once again showcased his lethal striking ability to secure his second UFC victory.

The first round here saw Giles display some solid defensive skills and repeatedly rebuked du Plessis’s takedown attempts.

Realising his strategy wasn’t working, DDP switched things up in the second to keep the fight standing even if it played to his opponents’ strengths.

What followed was a few minutes of an exciting slugfest, with both fighters throwing some vicious shots. Yet it was du Plessis who was doing the most damage, and the increasingly battered Giles began throwing more wild shots which left him exposed.

As Giles made a fruitless flurry of punches, ‘Stillknocks’ masterfully waited for the perfect moment to counter with a powerful left-hook that folded his opponent before a bout of ground-and-pound quickly resulted in the referee stepping in.

A testimony to DDP’s timing and fighting IQ, this knockout shows just how important patience is in the octagon, and once again shows du Plessis’s wonderful ability to time his most devastating strikes to perfection.

1. Robert Whittaker – UFC 290 (July 8, 2023)

By far the most menacing fighter to face du Plessis at this point, Robert Whittaker is one of the greatest middleweight fighters of his generation. Dricus was an underdog for a reason, as ‘Bobby Knuckles’ has been a top contender in the division for years.

For du Plessis, this was his opportunity to prove his champion credentials and boy did he do just that!

A captivating fight from the very start, former champion Whittaker looked the sharper fighter in the early exchanges.

Showing why he was favourite; Whittaker blocked a number of takedown attempts by DDP before landing a big takedown himself in the middle of the round.

Initially looking the more well-rounded fighter, the tide soon turned against Whittaker as du Plessis began landing nice combinations before executing a lovely takedown that would have made even Islam Makhachev jealous.

On the ground, du Plessis was a pit bull, swarming the New Zealand-native with heavy ground and pound strikes which sliced Whittaker open and left the round looking like a draw on the judges’ scorecards.

The second round largely reflected the first, with Whittaker controlling the early stages with a series of clean punches and a heavy head kick that du Plessis could only partially block. But once again, Dricus du Plessis was waited for his time to pounce.

Displaying good defence and even more impressive patience, the South African got his chance when the opportunity opened for a sharp right-hand which dropped Whittaker.

Smelling blood, du Plessis went in for the kill. As Whittaker slowly returned to his feet, DDP swarmed his opponent with a salvo of punches, battering his head and body and dropping Whittaker against the fence, forcing the referee to step in with Whittaker taking a beating on the floor and granting du Plessis a shot at the title.

A brutal and unforgiving performance, Dricus du Plessis made a real statement by finishing one of middleweight’s most feared fighters within two rounds.

Seeing Whittaker bloodied and beaten at the end of the fight surely made UFC fans finally realise, this guy is the real deal.

What makes DDP so exciting is his versatility and well-rounded set of skills. Not only does he excel at striking but his ground game is also top-notch, demonstrating his dominance in all aspects of the fight game.

Whether he’s engaged in a stand-up battle or grappling on the canvas, du Plessis has the knowledge and expertise to come out on top.

Having fought a variety of fighters with different styles, du Plessis has repeatedly shown the intelligence and adaptability requisite for a champion.

The South African not only focuses on winning, but he strives to win in style. Du Plessis has emerged as a dominant UFC fighter who has gained a legion of new fans, and deservedly earns the right to call himself the Middleweight Champion of the World.

So there we have it folks, 5 of Dricus du Plessis’ best UFC finishes!

How high do you think DDP could rise in the UFC? Who should his dream match ups be with? Which of his fights from the list above did you dig the most? Let us know in the comments below; Like, share and join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter & Instagram!

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