Thirty-nine-year-old kickboxer Cyrille Diabate is looking to make the most out of the twilight of his combat sports career. The undefeated, iron-fisted Jimi Manuwa wouldn't let it be at his expense, though.
In this matchup between two powerful strikers, the fight came to a sudden, disappointing conclusion as Diabate had to call it quits between the first and second rounds due to a leg injury.
There is not much to consider here, so when I ask, “So what did we learn from all this," it's kind of tough to answer. So...what did we learn from all this?
Both fighters put up a solid effort in the first round, but very little can be extrapolated from this bout. We already knew that Manuwa was working his way toward the upper echelon of the light heavyweight division, and that train continues to roll.
Diabate's train, meanwhile, is idling. You can't really fault him for this loss, but a loss remains a loss.
What's Next for Cyrille Diabate
Diabate is still a lethal striker, but he is an old fighter with no real winning streaks. Because of that, he is likely to be in a rebound fight for a slumping youngster, or could face a promotional newcomer.
What's Next for Jimi Manuwa
Manuwa has 13 wins in a row, and there's no conclusion to draw from that other than he is moving up the divisional rankings. The only question is how receptive fans are to him.
If the UFC thinks he is en route to a title fight, they probably want to groom him against somebody like Ildemar Alcantara or Vladimir Matyushenko. If not, the UFC may try and “feed” him to Phil Davis, Ryan Bader or Glover Teixeira—though Manuwa is good enough that he would be competitive against any of them.