In enduring the preparation and angst associated with his first Ultimate Fighting Championship assignment, J.P. Buys could not have chosen a better training partner than the person who knows him best: Cheyanne Buys.
Husband and wife will make their promotional debuts together at UFC on ESPN 21 this Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, where J.P. faces Bruno Silva in an undercard battle at 125 pounds and Cheyanne meets Montserrat Ruiz in a three-round strawweight showcase. This marks the second time they have appeared at the same event, as both competed and won at Legacy Fighting Alliance 78 on Nov. 19, 2019.
As the Buyses prepare for their respective bouts inside the Octagon, here are five things you might not know about them:
1. They come from different worlds.
J.P. was born in Brakpan, South Africa, while Cheyanne hails from St. Petersburg, Florida. The two cities are separated by more than 8,200 miles.
2. He was first to test the MMA waters.
J.P. made his professional debut on July 11, 2015—less than three months after he turned 19—and needed just 62 seconds to submit Josemar Octavio at Extreme Fighting Championship 41. Cheyanne first entered the cage as a pro on March 9, 2018, when she put away Karla Hernandez with a burst of elbow strikes 4:22 into the third round of their LFA 35 pairing.
3. They took the same route to the UFC.
Dana White’s Contender Series paved the couple’s way to the UFC. Cheyanne was awarded a contract after she took a unanimous decision from Hilarie Rose on Aug. 18. J.P. needed two tries, as his first appearance on DWCS resulted in his being stopped by Joby Sanchez in 2017. He returned to the series more than three years later and punched his ticket to the Octagon by submitting Jacob Silva with a guillotine choke on Nov. 17.
4. Both husband and wife have an affinity for gold.
J.P. was a two-division titleholder in the South Africa-based Extreme Fighting Championship organization. He captured the interim flyweight crown by tapping Baldwin Mdlalose with a first-round triangle choke at EFC 54 on Oct. 15, 2016. “Young Savage” later claimed the vacant bantamweight belt when he dispatched Philippe Rouch with a guillotine choke at EFC 69 on April 28, 2018. Cheyanne, meanwhile, laid claim to the interim BTC Fight Promotions championship when she took a unanimous decision from Lindsay Garbatt on June 1, 2019.
5. They are not the first of their kind.
The Buyses will become the second married couple to compete on the same Ultimate Fighting Championship card. The first? Mark De La Rosa and Montana De La Rosa competed together at UFC Fight Night 167 on Feb. 15, 2020. Mark lost to Raulian Paiva by second-round knockout, while Montana went on to defeat Mara Romero Borella by unanimous decision.
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