Jimi Manuwa is really familiar with his opponent tonight at UFC London. He fought Jan Blachowicz back in 2015 to earn a decision win. Since then he’s only lost to Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson and the latest light heavyweight title challenger Volkan Oezdemir. He’d prefer to be fighting a higher ranked opponent, but it seems like none of them are accepting fights with him.
“I wanted to fight a top five guy. I wanted the No. 3 guy Glover Teixeira. I said let me fight Glover, they said Glover doesn’t want to fight. I said let me fight Mauricio ‘Shogun’ [Rua], they said Shogun doesn’t want to fight. I said who else is available in the top 10? They said no one was available to fight in the whole top 10. I said who’s available to fight in the whole light heavyweight division? Only Jan Blachowicz said yes so I said give me Jan Blachowicz. That’s the reason we’re fighting.”
1 shot 1 kill. But I got for firepower for days. ☝🏾 ⛽ ⛽⛽⛽ pic.twitter.com/juYlj3rkyH
— JIMI MANUWA (@POSTERBOYJM) March 15, 2018
“I can’t put my finger on it. I can’t understand it. I don’t want to say they’re scared because I don’t know what it is. If they are scared, I’d be shocked because I was once a fan of these people. Shogun is a legend, I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He can do what he wants. I’ll leave Shogun alone. Teixeira, I don’t understand it. I don’t want to say he’s scared but what else can it be? I don’t understand it. At the end of the day I’ve got to solidify my position as the No. 4 ranked fighter in the world. I don’t lack motivation. I have motivation to win. He’s the only fighter that I’ve gone the distance with so I plan to rectify that and get another knockout.” — Jimi Manuwa speaking to MMA NYTT.
Now Jimi Manuwa is defending his No. 4 slot in the light heavyweight rankings against former opponent Jan Blachowicz, who is ranked 11th. With a win here, Manuwa will put his foot down to get an opponent more in his hemisphere of the division, but if Blachowicz manages to write the wrongs of his past and get revenge on Manuwa, then he’ll shoot high up the rankings.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/17/2018.