Perez stopped by Dricus du Plessis
Du Plessis made a cautious opening to the fight inviting the Brazilian to come at him while keeping him at bay with kicks and strikes.
Perez had to try to get inside to get Du Plessis to the mat but despite landing a few kicks and strikes of his own the Brazilian appeared to grow a little impatient as the first round drew to a close.
That was when Du Plessis was afforded his opening sending Perez to the canvas and once he began striking the prone fighter the referee called the contest.
The expectations of a nation
Du Plessis opened his UFC account with a first round KO victory over Perez announcing his arrival in the middleweight division.
“I came in here with a lot of expectations and I think a lot of expectations for me.
“There was so much pressure, outside pressure from my countrymen and with pleasure I mean the support I’ve been getting from my whole country, I think there is 40 million people sitting in front of their TVs watching now. It’s insane I can’t believe what happened,” Du Plessis said after the fight.
“It feels like South Africa is playing in a Rugby World Cup final again.”
Du Plessis believes that he couldn’t have scripted a better start to his UFC career.
“It couldn’t have gone any better, I mean a first round knockout.
“The whole week leading up to the fight I stayed calm.
“You know your whole career you think about this moment and you expect it. I tried to not get overwhelmed by anything that happens especially with this being such a short-notice experience. When I got the fight I was getting passports ready and it didn’t have a chance to sink in and now I’ve got a first-round KO in front of Dana White and if you didn’t know, now you know.”
Dricus du Plessis talks nerves
Du Plessis said that there were always going to be a few nerves when he stepped inside the UFC octagon for the first time.
“Listen, you can have all the fights in the world but if you step inside the Octagon of UFC and you don’t have nerves then you are in the wrong industry. I mean this is the pinnacle of your career, this is the highest stage you can fight on.”
There has been no word as yet who Du Plessis’ next opponent will be but it is expected to come sooner rather than later.