From EFC to UFC world champion: the triumph of Dricus du Plessis

Feb 16, 2024

The Emerging Sportech Opportunity

In an electrifying blend of skill and perseverance in the high-octane Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) world, one name, Dricus du Plessis, shines brightly. Hailing from South Africa, this fighter’s journey from the Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC) to a mediumweight world championship title at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a narrative of ambition, tenacity, and skill coming to fruition. The South African native’s ascent is not just his own but also a monumental emblem of the promise within EFC—a proud jewel in our portfolio.

Established in 2009, the EFC has burgeoned into the leading MMA league across Africa, giving numerous fighters a platform to unleash their potential and showcase their prowess on a global stage. Nestled in the heart of South Africa, it paves the way for potential champions such as du Plessis, one of many fighters who have stepped into the fierce, adrenaline-fueled world of EFC and grown into globally recognized MMA athletes.

For du Plessis, that horizon was the Ultimate Fighting Championship. His beginnings with EFC laid a rock-solid foundation that catapulted him into the UFC limelight. Dricus’ journey began a few years ago when he stepped into the ring as a medium weight fighter with the EFC. The South African soon made a name for himself in the local scene before catching the attention of the most famous MMA promotion company, the UFC.

Dricus’ progression from the EFC to the UFC was greeted with widespread optimism. However, the real testament to his success came in January, which marked a milestone not only for du Plessis but also for the company that fostered his early career, as he became the first fighter from the EFC ranks to clinch a title of such prestigious regard. With a remarkable performance, this was not just a victory for du Plessis but one for the EFC.



January marked a milestone for du Plessis and EFC, the company that fostered his early career. This incredible feat was sealed with a performance that showcased the hallmark resilience and skills that the EFC instills in its fighters through its pillars of growth and breaking boundaries.

During an unforgettable battle, du Plessis faced off against Sean Strickland, showcasing his championship mettle. With his victory, Dricus not only solidified his status as a world-class athlete but also made history by becoming the first South African UFC champion and honoring the rigorous training and competitive spirit encouraged by EFC.


“It is fantastic to work with such a great team as EFC. They are doing an incredible job of supporting young people in Africa through sport. And subsequently, drive the best African talent to success across the world. We are incredibly pleased to contribute to their commendable mission.”

Pablo Berenguer, Content Acquisition Manager



So, we congratulate Dricus du Plessis on his extraordinary achievement of becoming the UFC medium-weight world champion and the Extreme Fighting Championship for their continued contribution to the MMA ecosystem. EFC is an endpoint and a testament to the ceaseless opportunities it provides for fighters in their pursuit of greatness, genuinely living by their motto: ‘Creating Champions’. His victory through the ranks underscores EFC’s reputation as a budding opportunity in martial arts.

As we look towards the future, we anticipate many more fighters following Dricus’ path, the first South African UFC champion, and embarking on their career at the EFC to grow and raise the South African flag high on the global MMA stage as he did a few weeks ago. Undoubtedly, after this historic event, 2024 will be a year of expansion for martial arts in Africa.




“As a strong follower of Mixed Martial Arts, I am convinced that du Plessis’ victory is one more stone on the road to boost the MMA rise in Africa both in terms of audience and athletes internationalization.”

Nicolas Gimenez, Global Partnership Director


Here’s to the continued success of our fighters and the relentless spirit of the EFC, where champions aren’t merely born—they are forged. When it comes to creating champions like Dricus du Plessis, the EFC is only just getting started.


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