Consider UFC Fight Island 5 the card of the newcomers. It’s an invasion of debuting fighters as the UFC is back on Fight Island this week. The main event looks to be a firefight featuring Marlon Moraes against Cory Sandhagen in an important bantamweight bout. Also on the card are Edson Barboza, Ben Rothwell vs Marcin Tybura, the return of Thomas Almeida, and a slew of exciting debuts. One of those debuts is former KSW and EFC champ Dricus Du Plessis. He will be taking on Brazil’s Markus Perez (12-3, 2-3 UFC).
Dricus “Stillknocks” Du Plessis
Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa
How will Du Plessis fare in the UFC:
As much as I like Du Plessis he does have some defensive flaws that could hold him back in his debut. First of all, his takedown defense isn’t where it should be. He hardly has any resistance as he usually just falls into guard for a guillotine. While he does have an excellent guillotine, being too easy to take down is a no-go. Plessis also has a bad look when it comes to keeping his head on the center line. What makes it worse is that he doesn’t react well when getting hit. When he’s coming forward throwing and he gets hit he immediately stops and curls up.
Then there’s the positives. Dricus Du Plessis is a K-1 kickboxer with nine submission victories. I love his kickboxing and wish he would throw more because he throws heavy, quick, and end combinations with kicks perfectly. I will say Du Plessis is a bit tight with his striking but he has good quick hands and has some power. Du Plessis has good wrestling and on the mat, he’s always working to finish. He’s got a slick back take and is sneaky with an arm-in guillotine. He’s very good and well-rounded and crazy enough is still only 26-years-old.
Striking Defense: C
Takedown Defense: C
Biggest Strength: Kickboxing
Biggest Weakness: Striking defense
How he matches up with Perez:
Perez is a good fighter who has had a few bad performances in the UFC. The path to victory for Perez is to get the takedown and put in work on the mat. If he does get it to the mat he’s good at passing and overall a contempt grappler. Although Du Plessis has struggled with takedown defense, Perez isn’t technically a good wrestler. If this fight does stay standing I favor Du Plessis by a wide margin. Perez hits hard and is tricky but has extremely low volume and he tires quick. Du Plessis should pick Perez apart and the longer the fight goes the better Du Plessis should look.