Story by Craig Lewis

Dricus du Plessis defeated Sean Strickland by split decision to win the UFC middleweight title in stunning fashion on Sunday, and became the first South African UFC title holder.

The triumph once again united South Africa behind a sporting success story, while the build up to the fight – as well as the bout itself – undoubtedly brought a huge new following to UFC from sports lovers in Mzansi.

Prior to the fight, Du Plessis said in an exclusive interview that his ‘one wish’ for the bout was to see it result in the UFC coming to South Africa after seeing all the support and interest that has come out of the country.

“I only have one dream, the rest is work that I’ve already done for this. I don’t want to be given anything, I’ll take it. But there is one wish after hearing Dana White talking at a press conference about possibly bringing a UFC event to South Africa … that would be the dream…. It’s not totally in my control, but being a champion and getting an entire country hyped up for the UFC would go a long way.”

Dricus du Plessis could see dream come true

In the build-up to UFC297, UFC president Dana White hinted at his plans of hosting an event in South Africa, and reiterated this position after the success of Du Plessis.

“If Dricus becomes the world champion, it’s a no-brainer. We will go to South Africa. Africa has been on my radar for a long time,” said White last week.

Backed up that statement

The UFC boss has reiterated that the 29-year-old South African would be the reason to bring UFC to the country.

“Absolutely, positively Dricus could be the guy to spearhead a UFC Africa event,” said White. “I have been talking about UFC Africa for a long time. Maybe we start looking at South Africa and arenas in the country and possibly doing a fight down there this year.”

By Dirk

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