Instead, he found himself mounted by the Aussie and choked until he cried "Uncle."
So how did Anthony Perosh pull off the biggest upset of the night? And what's next for both seasoned veterans?
Diabate used his reach expertly early on in the fight. Utilizing long, straight punches, he kept Perosh at a distance to the point where he had absolutely nothing on his takedown attempts. He also threatened with left knee feints repeatedly to make the Aussie think twice about changing levels.
Diabate easily stuffed Perosh's first legitimate takedown attempt, forcing his opponent to back out.
On Perosh's second effort, he actually flopped to his back after being denied and pulled guard. While "Hippo" has a respectable ground game, he had serious problems dealing with the veteran kickboxer's reach with his ground and pound.
Notice how Diabate was able to drop hammer strikes on Perosh from above with near impunity because his arms are so ridiculously long. By the time Perosh finally got to his feet, his face was pretty busted up.
Now even more confident, Diabate threw a heavy body kick that landed with a sickening "thwack" but undeterred, Perosh caught the leg and used it to score a takedown at the end of the round but couldn't do much with it.
In round two, however, Diabate again came in way too aggressively with hooks and Perosh ducked them, taking him down this time with over four minutes to work. Gaining confidence, Perosh slid both legs over "The Snake's" open guard and gained a huge pass directly into mount. The fact that he was able to utilize this guard pass proved Diabate's weakness on the canvas.
From here, Perosh began aggressively attacking, looking for strikes or submissions and constantly transitioning from mount to the back with near impunity.
After defending Perosh's attack from mount and the back for nearly two minutes, Diabate began to fade and Perosh opened up an avenue of attack by dropping big ground and pound strikes. These right and left hooks from behind allowed him to flatten out the Frenchman (Perhaps turning "The Snake" into a tapeworm) and eventually securing a fight-ending rear naked choke submission.
For Cyrille Diabate, this bout proved that he still has a long ways to go before he's a complete mixed martial artist. His inability to get back to his feet at all clearly showed the blueprint for defeating him for the remainder of his career. He's now 2-2 in the UFC with both victories coming after being allowed to stand with his opponent and both losses coming via submission.
For Anthony Perosh, sure, he's probably not going to ever be an impact player in the 205 pound weight class, but he's now won two fights in a row and has clearly earned another fight, this time against a more well-rounded opponent. Perhaps a fight against someone like Brandon Vera would make sense. There are also possibilities against the likes of Stanislav Nedkov or the upcoming winner of the Ryan Bader vs. Jason Brilz bout.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you surprised that Diabate was upset by the grappling prowess of Perosh? Is Perosh your "feel good" story of UFC 138?
All gifs by Zombie Prophet via IronForgesIron.com.