Jimi Manuwa Promises A Knockout Return As He Eyes His Route To The Title In 2018
UFC light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa has spent some time out of the spotlight, but he’s now ready to return and he sees a number of paths available to him to get back into the title mix.
The Brit was last in action back at UFC 214 when he faced Volkan Oezdemir in Anaheim, California. That night, Manuwa was beaten before the fight had ever really begun and the Swiss fighter handed Manuwa only the third loss of his career in just 42-seconds of the first round.
Speaking exclusively to MMANytt.com earlier this evening, Manuwa talked about the loss for the first time and he appeared to have already put it well behind him.
“I haven’t really done any media since then and I’ve just taken myself away from it all to spend some time with my family and focus on my businesses and that,” Manuwa said. “It’s very hard to give your focus to anything else when you’re training for a fight and I needed that time out to sort out other things in my life.
“That fight with Volkan wasn’t me. I don’t know what it was, but it was like I was daydreaming that whole day and I never got out of that. Normally on the day you get your focus, but I don’t know what it was.
“It wasn’t me in there and trust me, it won’t happen again.”
Like all fighters, Manuwa’s received criticism from fellow fighters and fans following the defeat. The Brit maintains he’s not let it get to him though and he pointed at the case of another recent UFC champion to highlight how quickly people can lose faith in a fighter that was once dominant.
“There are so many events and of course people have to win and they have to lose,” Manuwa said. “The thing is though, these days no one is loyal in this sport. Look at Joanna [Jedrzejczyk]. She was champion for such a long time, but then she loses and all of a sudden she’s a bully and this and that. No one was saying that before the fight when she was expected to win.
“It’s like everyone forgot about who that woman really is you know. She’s an incredible fighter and one of the best woman fighters the sport has ever seen.
“I just feel you’re easily remembered and easily forgotten about in this sport.”
“I got a few loyal fans and they known what I’m all about. They know what’s up when it comes to me. I’ve had twenty fights and I’ve been to a decision just once. I’ve got an 88-percent knockout ratio and I’m one of the most exciting fighters to watch and my true fans know that. It seems like some people need a reminder and I’m going to deliver them a knockout in my next fight so stay tuned.”
Who that next fight is against remains to be seen, but Manuwa is open to several scenarios. The Londoner has made it very clear to the UFC that he’s ready and waiting and that they only need to pick up the phone if they need him in the coming months.
“I’m just waiting for that call, but I’ve got my eye on a few things,” Manuwa said. “The fight that makes sense for me right now is Glover [Teixeira] and I know he’s scheduled to fight Misha [Cirkunov] in December. I’m ready for that if either guy falls out, all they need to do is call me.
“I also saw today that Volkan has got arrested or something today. I don’t know much about it, but if Daniel Cormier needs an opponent I want that fight. We got beef, we’ve had words and I still know I finish him inside two rounds. If that doesn’t happen then I have to have the winner of Misha and Glover in London. I don’t want to have to wait that long, but it’s obvious the UFC will want me on that card. If it’s not Bisping’s last fight in the main event it will have to be. Just look what I did last time.”
Though Manuwa’s path forward for the next few months may involve playing the waiting game, one thing for sure is that he’s looking to come back with a bang. Having done exactly that following the only other two losses of his career, it’s probably best not to bet against him doing exactly that.
“In the perfect world I’ll fight either DC, Glover or anyone else that makes it to the top-5,” Manuwa said. “Then I’m going to fight for the title. I’ll have a perfect training camp with my brothers in Sweden and London, then that’s it.
“The next guy I meet in the Octagon will be out of there in three minutes.”
“It doesn’t matter who that ends up being or where it is. Just know they will be taken out fast.”