Streaking middleweight contender Dricus Du Plessis returned to the Octagon on Saturday night at UFC 285 in Las Vegas. Breaking into the top ten with a third-round submission of Darren Till at UFC 282, Du Plessis looked to leap into the top five against ‘The One’ Derek Brunson. Pushing 40 and nearing the end of his career, Brunson was desperately seeking a win in order to say relevant in the middleweight title picture.
Derek Brunson comes out and immediately throws a kick to the body. Du Plessis returns fire with a high kick, but Brunson is able to catch the leg and use it to take down Du Plessis. Immediately in side control, Du Plessis gave up his back to get back to his feet and nearly ends up in a guillotine. Du Plessis pops his head out and begins to deliver ground and pound while in Brunson’s guard. Brunson snags a leg and begins fishing for a heel hook. Du Plessis responds by going for an ankle lock of his own, but Brunson is able to escape and take the back of Du Plessis. Able to shake him off, Du Plessis gets back to his feet, but Brunson blitzes, landing solid strikes and sending him crashing to the canvas. Brunson again jumps on Du Plessis’ back. Du Plessis is able to work his way back up and lands a solid elbow as the bell sounds.
Both fighters come out looking labored in the second but are throwing heat. Brunson with a front kick to the body and Du Plessis immediately backed up. Du Plessis lands a solid left followed by a body kick that Brunson clearly doesn’t like. Du Plessis lands another stiff left and Brunson returns fire with a right. A big left hook by Du Plessis lands followed by a right. Du Plessis throws a calf kick. Brunson tries to snatch it and go for a takedown, but Du Plessis easily defends. Brunson is beginning to disengage and takes a long look at the clock with two minutes to go in the wrong. Du Plessis lands another stiff low kick and then rips to the body. Du Plessis lands a left and Brunson responds with his own. Du Plessis shoots for a takedown, but can’t complete it. Du Plessis begins lighting up Brunson on the feet. 1-2 from Du Plessis lands clean and Brunson goes down.
Du Plessis drops a series of brutal elbows, but referee Herb Dean does not step in. The round comes to an end and Brunson’s corner throws in the towel, calling for the stoppage.
Official Result: Dricus Du Plessis def. Derek Brunson via TKO (retirement) at 5:00 of Round 2
Check Out Highlights from Dricus Du Plessis vs. Derek Brunson at UFC 285 Below:
Derek Brunson throws in towel #UFC285 #ufc #DricusDu Plessis pic.twitter.com/CbGfD9vqH9
— seKEFS (@SMelly_muli) March 5, 2023
Brunson's team throws in the towel!!@DricusduPlessis will leave #UFC285 with the stoppage victory! pic.twitter.com/SyQ5vbUmA1
— UFC (@ufc) March 5, 2023