South African middleweight fighter Dricus Du Plessis has high hopes of becoming the future African champion of UFC. With a professional record of 19-2 and having won all five of his UFC fights, he is currently ranked #6 in the UFC middleweight rankings. Although some fans and experts have questioned whether he deserves a title shot after beating two past-primed fighters in Derek Brunson and Darren Till, Du Plessis believes he is ready.
Marketing potential of an African UFC event
A fight between Du Plessis and the current middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, in Africa would be a significant event for UFC from a marketing standpoint. Adesanya has shown interest in fighting Du Plessis but wants to see him secure another good win. UFC has been discussing hosting an event in Africa for years now and has already missed three chances to have African champions on the card.
Potential venues and limitations
The Sun Arena Time Square in Pretoria, South Africa, is a possible venue for the event, with a capacity of around 10,000 fans. However, Dana White, the President of UFC, opposes holding events in soccer stadiums, which may limit the options for hosting the event.
The impact of an African UFC event
If the UFC can successfully host an event in Africa in 2023, it could be a significant moment in the company’s history. Africa has many talented athletes who lack resources and opportunities to pursue a career in martial arts. Seeing African fighters perform on the big stage could inspire more people to follow that path. In addition to the main event, there are also about ten other African fighters who could participate in the event. Fighters from Europe and Asia could also perform closer to their homes.
Du Plessis’ chances against Adesanya
While Adesanya would likely be a significant favorite in the opening lines of the main event, it would be best if Du Plessis secured a win against a top-5 middleweight fighter first. With the right marketing and promotion, a fight between Adesanya and Du Plessis in Africa could be a massive event for the UFC and the African continent.