EFC middleweight and welterweight champion Dricus du Plessis says he has learnt from the “marginal error” that cost him his KSW 77kg belt.
Du Plessis (12-2) surrendered the title in the Polish-based promotion with a knockout loss to Roberto Soldic (14-3) in a rematch in London just over a week ago.
The first round was evenly contested, but Soldic’s superior striking came to the fore as he finished Du Plessis midway through the third frame at the SSE Arena, Wembley.
‘Stillknocks’ previously TKO’d the hard-hitting Soldic on his KSW debut in Wroclaw, Poland in April.
“There is always room for improvement,” Du Plessis tells mmaengage.com.
“In any sport and especially when you are the champion you have to keep raising the bar to stay ahead of your competitors.
“What I’ve learned is that a marginal error can cost you the fight.”
He adds: “We knew where Roberto’s strengths and weaknesses are but I made a marginal error and he capitalised on it.”
The South African MMA star dismissed suggestions the occasion may have gotten to him in the English capital.
“Not at all! I get so much love and support from not only the South African fans but from the Polish fans as well.
“They give me energy to give it my all every time I step into the cage.”
Du Plessis made no excuse for the defeat which halted a run of eight straight stoppages, insisting his preparations were on point under coach Morne Visser at CIT MMA in Hatfield, Pretoria.
Looking ahead, Du Plessis has expressed interest in a trilogy fight with Soldic following their bonus-worthy performance, as well as testing the KSW middleweight waters.
The 24-year-old is also “in talks with the EFC” over his next move.
Du Plessis has a long line of challengers awaiting his return to the hexagon such as newly minted EFC interim champ Gunther Kalunda (5-0).
He vows to bounce back strongly when he does make the walk again.
“I want to thank all of my fans for their support, it means the world to me and keeps me going.
“Also I want to thank my trainers, my team and management.
“Next time you’ll see me it will be the new and improved Dricus Stillknocks Du Plessis.”