This weekend, on the main card of UFC 214, England’s Jimi Manuwa will battle Volkan Oezdemir in what could well be a light heavyweight number one contender fight. From the sounds of it, however, a title shot isn’t the only big opportunity on Manuwa’s horizon.
Speaking to BT Sport, Manuwa recently reiterated that his desired boxing match with David Haye is still indeed in the works, and that it could happen sometime in early 2017.
EXCLUSIVE: Manuwa reveals Haye fight IS ON for next year! pic.twitter.com/7wutLoTzkx
— #UFC214 (@btsportufc) July 26, 2017
“100%,” Manuwa said in this interview. “We’ve talked a lot. Me and Dana [White] and him have talked a lot. 100%. We had a conference call when I was in Vegas. Regardless, he’s not going to be ready to fight until November, so it’s looking like the fights going to happen in January or early next year.”
“Title shot first,” Manuwa continued. “First thing’s first, we get this [Oezdemir] fight out of the way, and then we’ll go from there, depending on how the title shot thing goes. It’s either going to be the David Haye fight or the title shot. Ideally, it’d be the title shot and then David Haye.”
This, of course, is in keeping with what Manuwa told BJPenn.com earlier this year:
“I spoke to David Haye today (Wednesday),” Manuwa explained in an April episode of BJ Penn Radio. “I spoke to him last week when I was in Vegas with Dana [White], and Dana liked the numbers—what can be generated through this event. We’re planning on making it happen. David Haye is out and about walking, he’s back walking now after his injury. We’re doing everything we can to make it happen.”
“One hundred percent,” he added in a subsequent episode. “It’s looking like Haye’s not going to be ready until like December or January, or even early next year. But we’re still trying to make the fight happen. We just have to see how everything plays out over the next few months with the UFC. But the Haye thing is still in the works, hundred percent.”
“I’ve just got to win this fight with Oezdemir, knock out Cormier or Jones, knock out David Haye, and then we’ll see what’s up after that. That’s my hit list right now.”
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This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/26/2017.