Brunson (23-8 MMA, 14-6 UFC) and Du Plessis (18-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) have agreed to meet on the March 5 card, which takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+
MMA Junkie verified the booking with multiple people close to the situation following an initial report from ESPN.com‘s Brett Okamoto, who also reported Du Plessis signed a new multi-fight UFC contract ahead of the bout. The people requested anonymity because the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
Brunson will return to action for the first time since March, when he suffered a brutal TKO loss to Jared Cannonier in a likely title eliminator. The loss snapped his winning streak, and had Brunson saying he was going to retire after one more fight. Instead, he recently claimed he wants to fight four times in 2023, and he’ll get off to a good start by fighting in the first quarter of the year.
Du Plessis, meanwhile, will attempt to build off the momentum of his Fight of the Night submission victory over Darren Till at UFC 282 this month. The South African fighter is unbeaten inside the octagon, and has stopped all of his opponents inside the distance.
The latest UFC 285 lineup now includes:
Derek Brunson vs. Dricus Du Plessis
Viviane Araujo vs. Amanda Ribas
Bo Nickal vs. Jamie Pickett
Jessica Penne vs. Tabatha Ricci
Farid Basharat vs. Da’Mon Blackshear
Julio Arce vs. Cody Garbrandt
Mario Bautista vs. Guido Cannetti
Marc-Andre Barriault vs. Julian Marquez