The heavy handed British brawler got turned down by every top five fighter he challenged.
Jimi Manuwa is one of the hardest hitting fighters in the UFC, and he’s been using that skill to great effect in the light heavyweight division. Most recently, he knocked out Ovince Saint Preux in thrilling fashion at UFC 204 in Manchester. Next he’ll face TUF 19 winner Corey Anderson at UFC Fight Night: London in March.
In a recent interview with FloCombat, Manuwa sounded excited to get back into the cage quickly. But he couldn’t hide his bitterness over how hard it’s been to get a big fight lined up. Jimi was all set to fight Glover Teixeira on January 21st before the UFC completely cancelled the event. And then somehow in the shuffle, the two fighters got split and put on different cards.
“They came back to me and said that Brooklyn was a no go,” Manuwa said. “The next thing I know, Teixeira is fighting some guy that’s not even in the top-15 [Jared Cannonier]. It makes zero-sense to anybody–why does that fight make sense? I don’t understand it.
“After that happened, I said give me Bader, it’s another one that makes sense because he’s ranked above me and I think it will be another good fight. They came back to me and said that Bader was a no go because of his contract situation. I was thinking, why does no one want to fight?”
“After Bader, I then asked for Shogun,” Manuwa said. “He’s a warrior, he will take the fight, he’s won two in a row, and I was meant to fight him a few years ago. We’ve not got a grudge or anything, but we have a fight we should’ve had a few years ago and it would be a great fight for London. He’s a veteran of the sport and he’s a legend.
“They came back and they said no–Shogun said no. I was just like, what the f*ck is going on here? Where is everyone? I hate calling people out and saying people’s names, but now I can understand why they do it. There’s way too much cherry picking going on and people that just want to hold on to their spot.”
“I’m a warrior and I’m a fighter, a real f*cking fighter,” Manuwa said. “I’ll fight anybody, just look at that I’ve done previous. I was ranked No. 13 or No. 14 and they gave me the fight with Alex Gustafsson and I said yes I’d fight him 100-percent–why would I ever turn that fight down?
“They then asked me to face Anthony Johnson on just five weeks notice when I hadn’t been sparring, and I took that fight without hesitating–100 percent I’ll take that fight. Those are my only two losses in my whole career. It gets me so angry that these people in the top five are picking their fights to keep their position.”
Considering the results Manuwa has had whenever he steps up to help out the UFC, he might want to reconsider doing the promotion any more favors. Jimi is one of the most exciting up and coming fighters at 205 pounds, but those two losses to Gustafsson and Johnson really crippled the momentum he had after he arrived in the UFC and mauled his first three opponents.
Still, someone’s got to be the guy who accepts the fight against the lower ranked opponent. Manuwa has stepped up several times to his detriment, so of course he’d appreciate it if a top name was willing to give him an opportunity to fight them. But with how fearsome his highlight reel knockouts have been, we don’t really blame the other guys on the light heavyweight roster for avoiding him.
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Source:: mma mania