Dricus Du Plessis started off fairly slow in his promotional debut at UFC Fight Island 5, but went home with a KO victory under his belt against Markus Perez.
Dricus Du Plessis made his long-awaited promotional debut at UFC Fight Island 5 against Markus Perez. The hype surrounding Du Plessis came from his runs in both EFC and KSW, where he won the belt in each promotion. He was 14-2 heading into his debut with 14 stoppages, while his two losses were to former UFC fighter Garreth McLennan back in 2014 and against top prospect Roberto Soldic, whom Du Plessis took the belt from in the fight prior. After the loss to Soldic in KSW, Du Plessis returned to EFC and won their middleweight belt.
Perez is known for his weigh-in antics that feature Joker makeup, but he burst onto the scene with an impressive string of victories in smaller promotions over UFC vets Paulo Thiago, Ildemar Alcanatara, and Ian Heinisch. Perez brought a 2-3 Octagon record into the fight with both of his wins coming by submission.
Perez came out aggressive to start the fight, throwing a lot of feints and kicks which seemed to frustrate Du Plessis. Du Plessis was putting all his attention on the attack of the lead leg of Perez with his kicks. Du Plessis was throwing more in blitzes looking more comfortable. Perez tried to get fancy throwing an upward elbow only for Du Plessis to land a right hook, putting Perez on his face. The extra shots put Perez out cold.
FIGHT ISLAND HITS DIFFERENT!!!
What a debut for @DricusDuPlessis 🙌
— UFC (@ufc) October 11, 2020
Dricus Du Plessis def. Markus Perez by KO (Left Hook and Punches) in Round 1 (3:22)