UFC 276: Dricus Du Plessis Batters Brad Tavares in Bloody Brawl

Brad Tavares and Dricus Du Plessis, UFC 276
Brad Tavares and Dricus Du Plessis, UFC 276 Ceremonial Weigh-Ins. Credit: Alex Behunin/CagesidePress

Dricus Du Plessis had a slow start to his fight against Brad Tavares at UFC 276, but found his rhythm by winning the second and third round.

Middleweights Brad Tavares and Dricus Du Plessis faced off early on at UFC 276, with the fight being something of a new blood vs. old guard match-up.

Tavares, with over 12 years in the promotion, was one of the longest-serving middleweights on the UFC roster. But while Du Plessis lacked fights inside the octagon, he had plenty of experience outside it, having captured gold in both EFC and KSW.

Dricus Du Plessis immediately clinched Tavares against the fence and tried a lateral drop that backfired, as he pulled Tavares right into half guard. Du Plessis was able to get back up then tried a takedown that came up short. Du Plessis was fighting sloppily and was rocked by Tavares briefly. Du Plessis shot for a takedown as he recovered and pushed Tavares against the fence. Tavares was letting Du Plessis burn his gas tank, as the latter was trying to land huge shots. Tavares took the first round of the contest.

Du Plessis came out firing in round two and found success. His weapon of choice was a long right hand as part of a charging combination. Du Plessis landed several straight punches that opened Tavares up. Du Plessis was finding much more success in the second round, catching Tavares with ease. He rocked him early in the round and carried that momentum. Tavares tried to get some back with leg kicks, but Du Plessis rocked him at the end of the round and capped it off with a huge knee at the bell.

The two fighters continued the slugfest in the third round. Several long punches stung Tavares, who countered with a strong head kick and body kick. Du Plessis went to the body with a kick of his own, then landed a lengthy combination through the guard of Tavares. Du Plessis was mixing in body kicks and went back to the head with punches. Tavares was getting hammered with punches and was able to survive to the end of the round on his feet.

Dricus Du Plessis def. Brad Tavares by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)