Married LFA fighters Cheyanne and JP Buys work together to stay fight ready during pandemic

Mick Hammond

As social distancing measures continue through the coronavirus pandemic, fighters have to adjust to a new normal when it comes to training. And while some may have to go it alone, a select few are able to have someone to train with all the time because their significant other is also involved in MMA.

For LFA fighters Cheyanne and JP Buys, the life of a married couple of MMA fighters has taken on a new dimension, as they have become the main source of training for each other while unable to go to a gym and work out with teammates.

“It’s a learning curve for us,” Cheyanne, an LFA strawweight, told MMAWeekly.com. “We’re learning how to stay disciplined, because every day is a training day, but we only have each other to partner with.

“Even though times are hard and the world is kind of at a stop right now, we just tell each other to keep the faith, and we just tell each other that once this is over that fights are going to be rolling at us quick, so we’ve got to be ready.”

“Cheyanne and I do extra sessions at home when we’re not at the gym anyway, so the only thing that’s changed is what we used to do in extra sessions we just have to increase the intensity as well as the number of sessions,” said JP, who fights in the LFA bantamweight division. “We just have to increase to make up for the sessions we lose with the team.”

As Cheyanne puts it, the fact that both are close in weight makes things easier, but JP also feels that how they trained previously means that even if they were further apart in size it wouldn’t have been an issue.

“We actually do the same program together,” Cheyanne said. “We’ve been training together for nearly two years now every day. There’s only a 30-pound weight difference so it’s not too bad. Every day we write down in our journal s what we’re going to do and we just go do it.”

“When we trained with the old team back in South Africa, we didn’t really separate the training from small guys and big guys, or females and smaller guys, basically everyone trained together regardless (of size),” JP said.

“I feel Cheyanne and I got the final grips on it out there in South Africa. When grapple we flow roll, when we wrestle we flow wrestle, when we spar it’s technical sparring, so it’s not where any of my advantages come into play.”

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For JP, being away from his native South Africa has added its own challenges, but he’s doing his best to make sure he keeps in contact with his family and keep a positive attitude towards his US naturalization.

“Currently their lockdown (in South Africa) is a little more crazy than what we’re facing,” said JP. “It’s going into the winter months there, so a lot more people will be getting sick, so they just need to make sure they take care of their health. If you don’t have any health insurance, it’s not a nice scene out there with the government hospitals or anything like that.

“After my last fight in November I didn’t really have any damage or anything to hold me back, so I was kind of hoping for a quick turnaround, but at the same time I just immigrated here with my wife and we just kind of wanted to get our lives together. We are currently still busy dealing with that.”