Last night, in the co-main event the UFC’s surprisingly thrilling return to London, England, the city’s own Jimi Manuwa returned to the cage opposite Jan Blachowicz, who he defeated by decision several years ago.
It was an absolutely electrifying showdown that saw Manuwa weather a huge, first-round knockdown to surge back in the second – during which he landed a kick that probably would have snuffed many other light heavyweights – and then lose a close third round.
While Manuwa ultimately lost this back-and-forth war by decision, he and Blachowicz both pocketed $50,000 Fight of the Night checks and thrilled the fans in attendance and watching screens the world over.
Shortly after his loss to Blachowicz, Manuwa took to Twitter to issue a quick statement. While the British knockout artist is obviously disappointed, he seems to be taking the loss in stride, satisfied as the very least that he gave his countrymen a good show.
Respect to @JanBlachowicz for a great fight tonight. We left it all in there and I hope the fans loved it.
— JIMI MANUWA (@POSTERBOYJM) March 18, 2018
With this decision loss to Blachowicz, Manuwa falls onto a two-fight skid, as he was knocked out by Volkan Oezdemir in his next most recent fight. This skid was preceded by a pair of thunderous knockout wins, the first victimizing Ovince Saint Preux, and the second coming at the expense of Corey Anderson’s consciousness. Manuwa is now 17-4 overall, and 6-4 in the UFC. While he’s likely to take a tumble down the light heavyweight ranking after this loss, he remains one of the premier players in this talent-starved division.
What do you think comes next for England’s Jimi Manuwa? Is there anyone in particular you’d like to see him fight? Join the conversation in the comments section.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/18/2018.