Former UFC light heavyweight contender Jimi Manuwa is currently retired, but that doesn’t mean he’s ignoring the happenings of his old division.
Manuwa still plays close attention to the UFC light heavyweight division, which is currently ruled by Jon Jones. While Jones has been the picture of dominance throughout his career, Manuwa believes there’s at least one fighter on the UFC light heavyweight roster than can provide the champ with a challenge: Johnny Walker.
Manuwa believes that if Walker can use his reach, and avoid being taken down, he stands a real chance of unseating the champ.
“I think Johnny Walker will give Jon Jones his best fight,” Manuwa told BJPENN.com. “Jon uses his reach very well against most people. Most of the division is shorter than him, and he has trouble with people that are the same length as him [and] explosive people.
“If Johnny Walker can not get taken down, then I think he beats Jon Jones. He’s the person who causes the most trouble.”
Since joining the UFC roster, Walker has picked up a trio of blitzkrieg knockout victories over Khalil Rountree, Justin Ledet and Misha Cirkunov, with a standing elbow, a spinning back fist and a flying knee respectively. It took him less than 2 minutes combined to win these three fights.
He’s set to take on Corey Anderson at UFC 244, and could well be awarded with a title shot if he’s victorious.
Despite his relative inexperience, Walker is already confident he can do as Manuwa says and defeat Jones.
“I’m ready to fight Jon Jones already,” Walker told reporters at UFC 237. “All I need is to recover my shoulder and have a decent camp. But I’m ready. I have enough technique and experience for that. I don’t think he has anything to surprise me.”
Do you agree with Jimi Manuwa on this one? Is Johnny Walker the man to beat Jon Jones?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/9/2019.