Saturday, 9 February 2013

Manuwa vs Diabate betting preview

UFC on Fuel 7
Jimi Manuwa vs Cyril Diabiate
In perhaps the most intriguing match up of the card 12-0 Jimi Manuwa takes on experienced striker and MMA veteran Cyril Diabate whose record stands at 19-8.
Manuwa impressed with his explosive UFC debut beating Kyle Kingsbury until a stoppage was called at the end of round 2. Manuwa has finished every single one of his 12 opponents. Diabate himself has strung together two wins and impressed in his submission victory over Chad Griggs. I was somewhat torn on who I thought will win this fight when I first saw the match up. Is Jimi Manuwa the real deal or is he the next Houston Alexander? Has Diabate finally become a well rounded mixed martial artist?

If we analyze the striking of two it is apparent that Diabate has the better striking pedigree. Formerly a k-1 competitor Diabate is a long and rangy striker with a similar body type to Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Diabate is a southpaw who uses his range well and mixes his striking with an assortment of kicks, knees and punches. Diabate also posses good timing and uses his reach well to counter with his accurate straight left when opponents lunge forward. His striking defense however sometimes leaves him vunerable as he does not use much head movement and when opponents get inside his range he moves straight backwards and finds himself against the cage and outside of his comfort zone.
Jimi Manuwa is an explosive striker with big power in both of his hands. He likes to get on the inside of his opponents and use powerful hooks  and uppercuts to the body and head. Due to his explosive frame he also posses fast powerful kicks alongside explosive knees and lunging punches. He has also shown to be deadly in the clinch throughout his MMA career.
When I look compare the two's striking skill sets the big question for me is the level of Manuwa's opponents have been well below the caliber of Diabate. I also believe that Diabate's height, range and countering ability gives him the technical stand up advantage although Manuwa possess more power I give the edge to Diabate in striking.

In terms of wrestling ability we have not seen to much from Manuwa. In his last fight against Kingsbury he showed decent takedown offence but what was more impressive was his ability to get back to his feet once he had been put to the ground. However Manuwa did show that once he fatigued his takedown defense did drop significantly and he is a fighter that relies more on his strength and explosive power rather then technique. Diabate has shown an improved wrestling and grappling game over his UFC career, after a disappointing loss to Antony Perosh who exposed Diabate's ground game we have seen an improvement in his victories against Tom Deblass and Chad Griggs. Diabate's wrestling game usually consists of him defending take downs and staying on his feet.
I think that neither man excels in the grappling department but that Manuwa may need to utilize his strength advantage in this fight by taking it to the ground. Due to his explosive frame and style I give Manuwa the edge in this area.

On the ground Manuwa is dangerous from the top position as has devastating power and can finish his opponents with a ferocious onslaught of punches. In his MMA career Manuwa's ground game is still somewhat untested as all his fights leading up to his UFC debut ended quickly however Kingsbury was finding success in the second round of their fight before it was stopped. Diabate's weakness has always been his ground game from his debut in Pride to his loss against Perosh in the UFC. His fight against Deblass however showed evidenced that he has improved this aspect of his game as he maintained defensive positions on the ground and defended takedowns better then he ever had before. I would give an advantage here to Diabate due to him being the more experienced grappler of the two and his improving submission game.

Looking at the two competitors it is fairly evident that Manuwa is the more powerful and explosive of the two fighters however with this power and explosivity comes the negative effect on his endurance as evidenced in his last fight against Kingsbury. Due to this I would give Diabate the cardiovascular advantage. A few other variables to look at are that the fight is in London England meaning that Manuwa will have the crowd behind him which could alter the judges decision if the fight is a close three rounds affair, Diabate is the one who has to travel and adjust his body to the time/weather condition of England compared to USA, Manuwa posses the type of power that could warrant an early stoppage if he drops Diabate.

I think that Manuwa will come out strong and may put Diabate in some trouble early on but after the first round I think the advantage goes to Diabate (Although this requires that a Frenchman shows some courage in the face of adversity, which they are not really known for).
I believe that the duration of the fight will be spent on the feet and as Manuwa slows down I believe Diabate will start to pick him apart using his reach advantage to capitalize on Manuwa's slowing reflexes. I think this is a close fight with Manuwa's chances standing at around 50-55% with Diabate at 45-50%.

My pick is to bet Diabate, I would hold off as I believe his line will increase to around +180-+200 upwards, or wait until after the first round and bet Diabate live for +200 upwards, unless he is a walking zombie by this point.

 Cyrille Diabate

No comments:

Post a Comment