When Jimi Manuwa knocked out Corey Anderson in their March light heavyweight showdown, he established himself as one of the top contenders at light heavyweight. In fact, were it not for the looming return of former champion Jon Jones, Manuwa could well be looking at a shot at reigning champ Daniel Cormier right now.
Given that Jones is likely to return to the cage to an immediate title shot against Cormier at UFC 214, however, Manuwa has confirmed to BJPenn.com that he’s got another fight in the works, and that he hopes it occurs on the same card as this Cormier-Jones fight. The reason Manuwa wants to be on this card is that it gives him the opportunity to replace either man, should one be forced to withdraw from the fight.
Manuwa explained the situation on the latest episode of BJ Penn Radio.
“Sort of,” he said when asked if he’d spoken to the UFC about being an alternate for the Cormier vs. Jones fight. “I’m looking to be on the same card anyway. So any fallouts or whatever… I’m staying ready. I’m in training camp now, helping Alexander [Gustafsson] get ready for [Glover] Teixeira, so I’m going to be in camp already anyway. I’m staying fit, I’m staying ready, and I’m expecting an opponent in the next couple weeks for that same card. So we’ll see what happens.”
As for the possibility of having to shift his focus to either of these elite fighters at the last minute, Manuwa assured he’s not too worried:
“I’m ready for both of them,” he explained. “One’s short and fat, one’s tall and skinny. I’m ready for both of them.”
Who do you think Jimi Manuwa will fight next? Do you think he should have received the title shot over Jon Jones?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/27/2017.