Jimi Manuwa earned every right to fight a big name in the light heavyweight division after an impressive knockout victory over Corey Anderson at UFC Fight Night 107. However, Manuwa claimed that he’s not interested in fighting Jon “Bones” Jones and wants to face the winner of Anthony Johnson-Damier Cormier UFC 210 bout.
“I’m not interested in Jon Jones,” Manuwa said. “Jon Jones takes steroids, and he’s been banned for steroids. Before, I was a big fan of Jon and the things he’s done in the Octagon. But he’s been suspended for one year because he’s had issues before. He’s a great fighter, and I respect him. But he’s been done for steroids, and that taints everything that he’s done. So I’m not really interested. When he comes back, I’ll fight him. No problem. But I’m focused on the belt right now, and that’s the winner of (the UFC 210 headliner).”
Before the bout, Jimi Manuwa expressed his intention in fighting former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Manuwa strongly believes that he can knock out Jones once they face each other in the Octagon. Unfortunately, Jones is currently serving a one-year suspension after violating the UFC anti-doping policy.
Jones is expected to return in July and could be given the chance to fight for the title. “Bones” ruled the light heavyweight division for four years before he was stripped of the belt due to a hit-and-run incident. Most people don’t see someone like Manuwa stopping Jones since he already defeated the likes of Alexander Gustaffson, who defeated Manuwa in the past.
However, Jimi Manuwa said that everything Jones accomplished has been tainted because of his current suspension. He believes that he’s more deserving to fight for the title, especially after beating Corey Anderson at UFC Fight Night 107. UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson will fight at UFC 210 on April 8, 2017.
Jimi Manuwa needs one more “big win” before earning title shot
According to MMA Mania’s Adam Guillen Jr., Jimi Manuwa needs to win one more fight in order to earn a title shot. After winning against Anderson, he now ranks No. 4 in the UFC light heavyweight division. Manuwa should face either Alexander Gustafsson or Glover Teixeira, who ranks No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
However, Manuwa already declared he’ll not be fighting Gustafsson for the second time. Despite improving his ranking, it remains questionable if the UFC will prioritize him as the next title challenger. UFC president Dana White revealed in the past that Jon Jones will be given the next title shot once he’s cleared to fight again.
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