"It’s one of the great fight nights of the year." Jimi Manuwa on UFC London
UFC fighter Jimi Manuwa is one of Britain's most exciting mixed martial artists. We caught up with Manuwa as he prepares to star on the UFC London bill...
Your last visit to UFC London saw you win Performance of the Night with a spectacular KO of Corey Anderson: can we expect similar fireworks?
“Absolutely, 100%. Błachowicz will be running again but my footwork is so much better since our last fight and I plan on trapping him in the corner and unleashing the arsenal I have at my disposal. There is unfinished business, he is the only person I have been to a decision with in my career of all my 17 wins. I’m fighting him because of other people not wanting to take the fight with me but I’m fired up for this fight and I plan on stopping him in my home town.”
How does UFC London compare to other UFC events around the globe?
“UFC London always delivers good fights. Everyone says about the names on the card and this, that and the other but everyone always turns up and everyone always puts on a great performance in London. It’s one of the great fight nights of the year. London is a great fighting city and people come here to perform, so the fans always go home satisfied.”View on Instagram
If you defeat Blachowicz again, do you expect to rematch Volkan Oezdemir?
“It’s a possibility. Of the three losses in my career, he is the one that I want the most but I’m going to concentrate on Blachowicz and making sure I get a good win over him and then we can see what happens after that. It’s a bit uncertain in the division at the moment with DC (Daniel Cormier) going up to heavyweight to fight Stipe (Miocic) so I don’t know what’s going to happen with the top five in the division who is going to fight for the interim title. For now, I’m not concentring on that. I’m concentrating on Blachowicz and I will see what happens after that.”
Was it frustrating to see Oezdemir lose comfortably to Daniel Cormier?
“I knew that DC would grind him down and get the win in second or third round and that’s what he did . It was a good performance, but I expected it. I thought Volkan (Oezdemir) would have put up more of a fight on the floor on the ground and I thought his ground work would have been a bit better but what happened, happened, DC did what he does and that’s it. He put on a great DC performance.”
Would you have given Cormier a better fight?
“100% I could have given him a better fight, but I wasn’t there, I lost to Volkan but I will definitely be there in the future.”
The MMA experience is great, and it’s given me so much but I’m still hungry
Do you give Cormier any chance against Stipe Miocic?
“I think Cormier will beat him. For me it’s about 60-40 to Cormier right now.”
Would you ever consider a move to heavyweight?
“No not after seeing what Stipe did to Francis Ngannou. He is a monster, but I think if I would move weights I would go down to middleweight but now I’m happy at light heavyweight.”
Any word on the mooted fight with David Haye?
“We both have business to do. He has his fight with Tony Bellew in May, I have my fight in March. Look if we both win, let's see what happens after that and we can talk.
Do you have any plans for life beyond the Octagon?
“I plan to enjoy life as much as I can. I have been fighting for ten years, the MMA experience is great, and it’s given me so much but I’m still hungry. I’ve missed out on living life and enjoying food and partying and my family. I’m away a lot in Sweden in camp and I miss my family, so when that time comes I just plan to enjoy life a bit more.”