Video: Dricus du Plessis receives raucous champion’s welcome in return to South Africa

Dricus du Plessis kept his promise.

The new middleweight champion vowed to bring a UFC title back to his country of South Africa and he accomplished that mission this week, defeating Sean Strickland at UFC 297 and then returning home to a hero’s welcome on Thursday.

Watch the incredible reception that du Plessis received below, courtesy of eNCA.

“Absolutely incredible,” Du Plessis told eNCA. “It’s incredible, wow. Thank you, South Africa, this is absolutely amazing.”

Du Plessis was swarmed as soon as he arrived at O. R. Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park with a loud chant of “DDP” ringing out from the crowd. The 30-year-old is the first UFC champion from South Africa and the fourth born on the continent of Africa, following Israel Adesanya (Nigeria), Francis Ngannou (Cameroon), and Kamaru Usman (Nigeria).

His close split decision win over Strickland improved du Plessis’ UFC record to a spotless 7-0. He now targets a grudge match with Adesanya, that could take place as early as UFC 300 on April 13, depending on du Plessis’ health and when Adesanya decides to return from a self-imposed hiatus.

Should the Adesanya bout not materialize, du Plessis has no shortage of potential opponents, with former champion Robert Whittaker fighting Paulo Costa at UFC 298 on Feb. 17, Brendan Allen putting a six-fight win streak on the line against one-time challenger Marvin Vettori on April 6, and the undefeated Khamzat Chimaev also campaigning for a title shot.

Watch more footage of du Plessis’ homecoming below.

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