Taking turns between living in the United States and South Africa over the past two years, the two have settled for now in Texas under the mentorship of Sayif Saud at Fortis MMA, giving Cheyanne the opportunity to work alongside friend and Invicta FC contender Emile Ducote, which proved to be unexpectedly advantageous for Buys when her original opponent, Kay Hansen, was replaced with Montserrat Conejo on short notice.
“Every time [Emily] came to train, I was pretending to be Montserrat,” Buys explained. “At the end of the day at this highest level, if they call you a day out with a new opponent, you’ve just got to be ready for anyone at all times. I was just happy to have an opponent that I did know very well and that I had studied so much in this fight camp.”
Heading into Saturday in a familiar venue, against a familiar opponent, Buys will also have even more familiarity just outside the chain links, as JP will be fighting on the preliminary card before Cheyanne’s main card appearance.
Cheyanne Buys Is A Fighter You Should Know
The Buys will not only be just the second married couple to share the spotlight on a UFC card, but the first to both make their debuts and the first to corner each other while fighting in the same night.
“At first, we weren’t gonna corner each other. When we first got the call, we immediately got our corners put together because we were both fighting grapplers and we knew we were going to take our jiu-jitsu coach, our head coach, and my dad,” Buys said.
Due to an unexpected hurdle, the Buys’s jiu-jitsu coach was no longer able to make the trip to Las Vegas, opening a spot for each other to serve in their spouse’s corner.
“[UFC] made a plan and they made it work last minute,” Buys said. “Now here we are. I’m going to be there with him, making that walk with him, and he’s going to be right there for me.”
And next to JP will sit Cheyanne’s father, the one who kickstarted her journey 22 years ago with private karate lessons.