Johannesburg (South Africa) – 19 year old Dricus du Plessis is the current WAKO K-1 world champion. Currently training at Team CIT in Pretoria while pursuing a Bcom degree in Agriculture at the University of Pretoria, Du Plessis is keen to enter Africa’s biggest MMA stage.
“I’ve always loved fighting, of any sort,” says the young champion. “I have been involved and competing in martial arts since I was five years old, starting with Judo and then wrestling. At the age of 14 I started to train and compete in K-1.”
Du Plessis hails from Hartebeespoort Dam and began his K-1 and MMA career training out of his garage. Beginning with local K-1 events it was suggested to him that he give MMA a try and so, at the age of 15, fought and won his first MMA bout.
“Ever since the aim has been the combination of stand-up and ground,” he says, “trying to dominate these styles individually while pursuing the dream of entering Professional MMA.” “Approaching both styles helped me a lot in understanding the art and the balance of what’s needed for the cage.”
At the age of 17 Du Plessis was chosen to represent South Africa at the WAKO K-1 world championships in Slovakia. At the same time he had been offered a full rugby scholarship at the University of Pretoria. On winning the title he realized that fighting was what he wanted for his life and turned down the scholarship.
“I realized I couldn’t play rugby and pursue a professional fighting career.”
He did not abandon his thoughts of study, however, and the move to Pretoria was just what he needed. “I was looking for the best possible training,” he says. “Thankfully I joined Team CIT. There my teammates and coach, with their confidence and experience have transformed me into an MMA athlete.”
Du Plessis sports a K-1 record of 30-0 (27KO, TKO), and an amateur MMA record of 3-0 (KO, TKO). He has yet to make his pro debut.
Full information on EFC AFRICA’s athletes and events can be found at efcafrica.com