Octagon Oracles: Former EFC Champion JP Buys

JP Buys gets introduced during an LFA card. He walks from one side of a cage to the other while his corner holds up the flag of South Africa. JP Buys will make his UFC debut in the opening bout of the card. Photo Credit: UFC Fight Pass

JP Buys (9-2) is opening up the card being the first debutant to set the tone for the evening. Buys had to work hard to get to the UFC. moving from South Africa to the US to train at Fortis MMA. He fought on the “Contender Series” back in 2017 but fell short against Joby Sanchez. After that, he went 4-0 on the regional scene to earn another opportunity on the show last Summer. He then beat a tough Jacob Silva to earn his UFC contract.

The Brazilian Bruno Souza will be the one to welcome Buys to the UFC. Souza has had a rough go in the UFC going 0-2 1NC. Losses are to Tagir Ulanbekov, David Dvorak, and also a fight against Khalid Taha which was later turned to a no contest. This is a must-win spot for Souza.

Shawn Bitter

Grade: B
Buys is someone I’ve liked for a while but I do think he looks much better at bantamweight. When he lost to Sanchez, he moved up to 135 for his four-fight tear. His fight on the “Contender Series” and this fight with Souza is at flyweight. Buys does good at flyweight, but I think he does even better at bantamweight.

Buys is a problem on the mat. He thrives in scrambles, has good ground and pound, and is a big submission threat. Buys does need work on the feet and his cardio is still a little suspect. He does at least have nice leg kicks and strikes to wrestle very well.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
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Top 5
Title Contender
Champion

Vince Rodemer

Grade: B+
Like his wife, JP definitely has a nice skillset. Like Montana and Mark De La Rosa, JP and Cheyanne are similar in weight, so they could conceivably train together. I’m not sure what that does for either of them, but any high-level training can’t hurt. Most of Buys’ wins are by finish as are both of his losses, so he will go for it. Buys’ last loss was in his first “Contender Series” fight in 2017 as a 21-year-old. Again, I’m not sure I can hold that against him. He goes forward, he can strike, he can wrestle, and will use both. He’s only 24.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion

Joshua Yule

Grade: B
At flyweight, the wrestling can work slightly differently to most divisions; the square-cube law can make top control much harder. Buys has incredible top control, fantastic methodical guard passing, really aggressive ground and pound, and good submissions. Don’t know much about his striking game yet but I think he has boatloads of potential, he just has to pass the test of having good enough striking to get his takedowns.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion

Tom Albano

Grade: C+
JP and Cheyanne Buys will be making history by becoming the second married couple to compete in the same night in the UFC, but it’s something they’re not unfamiliar with, having done that feat previously in the LFA. Buys has shown plenty of success on the regional scene, winning flyweight and bantamweight gold in the EFC and scoring a victory each in both Brave CF and LFA. His first-round submission victory on “Dana White’s Contender Series,” however, was somewhat controversial thanks to a referee’s call.

What’s crazy to think is that Buys is 24 and that was his second chance on DWCS, losing to Joby Sanchez on the show’s inaugural season when he was just 21. Buys has some great wrestling defense and is pretty skilled in his grappling. And as mentioned, he’s still quite young, and his game is coming along well at Fortis MMA. He has the opportunity to do well for himself at either 125 or 135.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
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Top 5
Title Contender
Champion

Kristen King

Grade: B
The first of our debuting Buys’ goes by the fight moniker of “Young Savage” and his work inside of a cage justifies just why that is. Buys is both an outstanding wrestler and grappler with a knack for finishing his opponents. From what I’ve seen, the usual gameplan for Buys is to close the distance as soon as possible, so you will often find him shooting in for a takedown no matter where he is. He does his best work from the center of the cage but has no problem working for the takedown alongside the cage as well. He scrambles quite nicely and is able to put himself in a much better position should he find himself on the bottom. Once in that position, he starts searching for submissions or pouring on some heavy ground and pound until the referee has no choice but to stop the fight.

Out Within 1-2 Years
50/50 Winner
Bonus Winner
A Mainstay Through the Years
Top 15
Top 10
Top 5
Title Contender
Champion