(Cyrille the Snake’s early kickboxing highlights. Props: Gorgeous PX)
UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans goes down this coming Saturday in Las Vegas, with two new faces casting their fates to the wind in the prelims, both of whom have peripheral connections to TUF 9. Who will survive and what will be left of them? Get to know the guys below, and swing by MMA Fightpicker to make your UFC 114 predictions…
CYRILLE DIABATE (LHW)
Experience: 16-6-1 record competing around the world for promotions like Cage Rage, 2H2H, PRIDE, and ShoXC. Has won nine of his last ten fights, with eight of those wins coming via stoppage in the first two rounds.
Will be facing: Luis Cane (10-2 w/1 no-contest, 3-2 UFC)
Lowdown: A veteran kickboxer and mixed martial artist, "The Snake" has been putting the hurt on people since the ’90s. Diabate spends part of his time training at Team Quest in Temecula, and appeared on TUF 9 last year as Team USA’s striking coach, but is doing most of the preparation for this fight in his native France. Standing 6’6", he tends to rely on his endless reach and striking prowess, but says he’s been concentrating on wrestling recently to become a more complete fighter. He hasn’t lost an MMA match since September 2006, when he was nearly stomped to death by Mauricio Rua at PRIDE Final Conflict Absolute.
WAYLON LOWE (LW)
Experience: 8-2 record in various regional leagues. Has won his last six fights, most recently a first-round knockout of Steve Berger at King of the Cage: Bad Boys 2 last month in Detroit.
Will be facing: Melvin Guillard (23-8-2 w/1 no-contest, 6-4 UFC)
Lowdown: An Ohio-based protege of Jorge Gurgel and Rich Franklin — and a three-time Division II national wrestling champion — Waylon Lowe accepted the fight against Guillard on three weeks’ notice after Thiago Tavares dropped out due to an elbow injury. You may have briefly caught a glimpse of Waylon on the second episode of TUF 9, when he was submitted by Santino Defranco after beating the living crap out of him for an entire round. According to this AroundtheOctagon interview, Waylon loves rap and country music, is a McDonald’s addict, and once had a job spreading manure on a ranch, which apparently isn’t as enjoyable as it sounds.