On Saturday night, in the first bout of the stacked UFC 214 main card, British knockout artist Jimi Manuwa stepped onto the canvas with rapidly rising Swiss contender Volkan Oezdemir. The winner of this fight, it seemed, would become the next man in line for the winner of Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones light heavyweight championship main event.
While Manuwa entered this fight as a notable betting favorite, things really couldn’t have gone much worse for him. After tying Oezdemir up against the cage, he ate a handful of clubbing uppercuts, and was sent stumbling across the cage by a left hand. A few followup punches later, and he was out like a light. It was a breakthrough win for Oezdemir, and a disaster for Manuwa.
Now some 24 hours removed from this surprising, knockout loss Manuwa has taken to Twitter with a quick statement on the fight. Unsurprisingly, his spirits are not especially high.
Losing in front of the world is hard. Disappointed in my performance tonight. Sorry to my team and my supporters.
— JIMI MANUWA (@POSTERBOYJM) July 30, 2017
“Losing in front of the world is hard,” Manuwa said in his Twitter post. “Disappointed in my performance tonight. Sorry to my team and my supporters.”
With this result, Manuwa returns to the loss column after two crushing knockout wins: one over Ovince St. Preux, and one over Corey Anderson. Oezdemir, meanwhile, stands out as one of the division’s top contenders, having gone 3-0 since joining the UFC, decisioning Ovince St. Preux, knocking out Misha Cirkunov, and now stopping Manuwa. He might indeed be the next man in line for Jon Jones.
What did you think of Jimi Manuwa’s abrupt knockout loss to Volkan Oezdemir? How do you think the English knockout artist will bounce back from this spot of adversity?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/30/2017.