EFC middleweight king Dricus du Plessis will next fight former champion Garreth McLellan or Brendan Lesar, if matchmaker Graeme Cartmell gets his way.
Cartmell wants Du Plessis (12-2) to headline a card in Pretoria against the winner of an interim title bout between TF2 coaches McLellan (13-6) and Lesar (2-0) on May 4.
Du Plessis has a score to settle with McLellan, having suffered the first loss of his career to the ex-UFC fighter in August 2014 via third-round submission.
“You’ve got ‘Soldierboy’ [McLellan] and Brendan Lesar, both of those guys are on Dricus’s radar,” Cartmell told fans during a Q and A session on Facebook.
“That kid just wants to get his hands on whoever is challenging him for the middleweight title. As you know he’s relinquished his welterweight belt, which makes Gunther Kalunda the undisputed welterweight champion. So Dricus is solely focusing on middleweight.
“He was offered a fight at KSW, he wasn’t … there was a situation with the weight. He doesn’t want to make welterweight anymore. It’s not great for his body, so he is going to continue to be a middleweight. We’re happy with that, he’s happy with that, and I’m really hoping that the winner of Brendan and Garreth ends up being a headliner with Dricus du Plessis in Pretoria – so that’s the plan.”
Du Plessis previously fought on home soil when he submitted England’s Yannick Bahati (8-4) in August 2017 to become the organisation’s first champ-champ, soon to be emulated by Amanda Lino (4-1) and UFC recruit Dalcha Lungiambula (9-1).
‘Stillknocks’ later won and lost the KSW (Polish-based promotion) welterweight strap in back-to-back bouts with hard-hitting Croatian Roberto Soldic (15-3).
The 25-year-old also recently relinquished his EFC welterweight crown due to weight-cut issues, which saw him withdraw from his KSW contest with Borys Mankowski (19-7-1) on March 23.