Cyrille Diabate (top) will fight Anthony Perosh at UFC 138 in November. | Photo: Dave Mandel
A light heavyweight confrontation between Cyrille Diabate and Anthony Perosh is being targeted for UFC 138. Diabate first tweeted news of the planned matchup, and the UFC confirmed the pairing on Friday via its Australian Twitter account.
Going down Nov. 5 from LG Arena in Birmingham, England, the event will feature a middleweight conflict pitting Chris Leben against Mark Munoz. The card will also showcase a host of British talent, including Brad Pickett, John Hathaway and Jason Young, as they lock horns with Renan Barao, Pascal Krauss and Michihiro Omigawa, respectively.
A former K-1 talent, Diabate is a 12-year MMA veteran, competing in Deep, Pride Fighting Championships, Cage Rage and EliteXC prior to making his UFC debut in May 2010. “The Snake” quickly disposed of Luiz Cane in his first Octagon outing, knocking out the Brazilian in just over two minutes. Diabate’s next UFC appearance did not go as smoothly, as he was dominated by Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 120 in October. However, the Frenchman rebounded from that loss in his most recent bout, battering former WEC light heavyweight king Steve Cantwell at UFC Live 3 in March.
Perosh recently earned the first UFC win of his seven-year professional career, submitting Tom Blackledge with a rear-naked choke in front of a hometown audience at UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia, in February. The Aussie returned to the UFC on short notice one year prior, taking on Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic as a late replacement for Ben Rothwell at UFC 110. Fluctuating between heavyweight and 205 pounds for much of his career, the 39-year-old holds eight of his 11 career wins by submission.