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Manuwa: Diabate not easy, but I'll end it

ESPN staff
February 5, 2013 « Etim: Renee Forte gets punished at Wembley Arena | Chartbeat test »

Jimi Manuwa does not expect an easy night when he takes on Cyrille Diabate at UFC London, but he does predict he will become the first man in the UFC to knock the Frenchman out.

Diabate has fought six times in the UFC, winning four and losing two. Those two defeats both came via submission to Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Perosh, the latter of which took place during his last visit to the UK.

The strength of 39-year-old Diabate has always been his kickboxing, making for an intriguing style match-up against Manuwa's powerful striking game. The Brit has been labelled a heavy favourite by certain MMA experts, but Manuwa has respect for his opponent.

"I don't think that [it will be easy] at all, he's a respectable fighter," Manuwa told ESPN. "He's tall, he's awkward, he's southpaw as well which makes it different from all my other fights.

"He's been in the game a long time and has a lot of experience. I don't think it'll be easy by any means. I don't expect any fights though so I'm looking forward to it."

Manuwa is looking to build on his opening UFC win over Kyle Kingsbury, when Kingsbury had to be pulled after a two-round beating. Diabate poses different problems as a southpaw, but Manuwa confidently predicts a finish at Wembley Arena.

"The last southpaw I fought was Luke Blythe in UCMMA (I think!). I knocked him out.

"Anything can happen, I've got my gameplan and that is always to stop my opponent. I've got a lot of weapons in my arsenal and no matter where the fight goes, I'll end it."

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