When the powers that be matched Jimi Manuwa against Cyrille Diabate for the main card of UFC on FUEL TV 7: "Barao vs. McDonald" today (Sat., Feb. 16, 2013) at Wembley Arena in London, England, the idea was surely to provide fans with a bout that was nearly guaranteed to produce fireworks.
UFC President Dana White must have cringed when the first clinch was initiated.
He definitely cringed when that clinch lasted for roughly two minutes in the opening round, though Manuwa did push away and set about finding his range, no small task when striking with Diabate, a lanky kickboxer with an 81-inch reach. A few hard left hooks find their mark but Diabate answered with a big knee or two of his own.
It was starting to get exciting.
There was confusion after the first round, though, as Diabate was surrounded by medical personal on his stool and explaining to everyone he simply could not continue thanks to an injury to his lower leg. It's unclear exactly what happened, but the broadcast team believed a rough landing on a takedown was the culprit.
Either way, Jimi Manuwa earns the technical knockout victory, anticlimactic as it may have been.
For complete UFC on FUEL TV 7 results and coverage of all the night's action click here.