Du Plessis (15-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC), a former KSW and EFC champion, starched Perez (11-4 MMA, 2-4 UFC) into a faceplant knockout finish in the first round of their middleweight bout, which took place at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Although Du Plessis looked shaky in the opening minutes, leading to speculation from cage commentators Dan Hardy and Paul Felder that he might be experiencing the infamous “octagon jitters,” Du Plessis was clearly able to overcome them as he caught Perez with an awkward shot then followed up with devastating follow-up blows.
Watch the video of the finish below (via Twitter):
FIGHT ISLAND HITS DIFFERENT!!!
What a debut for @DricusDuPlessis[ Main card is rolling on #ESPNPlus ] pic.twitter.com/7QPTNwRLj3
— UFC (@ufc) October 11, 2020
With the win, Du Plessis has won 11 of his past 12 fights. His 100 percent career stoppage rate also remained in tact. Perez, meanwhile, has now lost back-to-back bouts.