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Jimi Manuwa v Cyrille Diabate added to London card

ESPN staff
December 7, 2012
Belt-ing start to Wembley card

The UFC announced another big fight for the Wembley Arena card in London on Friday, with Jimi Manuwa set for a light-heavyweight shootout against Cyrille Diabate.

The appetites of UK fans were whetted earlier in the week with confirmation that the February 16 card would be headlined by an interim bantamweight title fight between Renan Barao and Michael McDonald.

Also announced on Thursday were several other fights involving Brits, including Terry Etim, Paul Sass, Che Mills, Andy Ogle, Vaughan Lee and Phil Harris.

Now Manuwa has been added to that list as he takes on the in-form Diabate, who is coming off a seriously impressive rear naked choke victory over Chad Griggs at UFC 154.

Diabate may not be the most popular man in England, given previous negative comments aimed at Michael Bisping, but his visit to London will be his third to the country under the UFC banner. On both previous occasions he was beaten by Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Perosh.

Nevertheless, the Frenchman is currently on a two-fight win streak and will need to be shackled by the undefeated Manuwa, himself coming off a spectacular UFC debut win over Kyle Kingsbury.

Manuwa had been linked to a bout with Thiago Silva before the Brazilian received a suspension, but Diabate poses plenty of threat with knockout power allied to submission skills.

Neither man is likely to be overly keen to take the fight to the ground in London, which makes for a crowd-pleasing striking battle at Wembley Arena.

More fight announcements are expected shortly and will be reported on ESPN as soon as they become official with the UFC.

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