UFC FN 107: Will Corey Anderson Spoil Jimi Manuwa’s Hometown Showcase?
The UFC is returning to London, England this Saturday for its latest Fight Night card, and Jimi Manuwa will be looking to end the card on a high note for his hometown crowd.
The British light-heavyweight will face America’s Corey Anderson in the main event, and it’s a pivotal fight for both. Heading into the March 18th fight, Manuwa is ranked #4 in the promotion’s 205 division, and Anderson is #6. So, an impressive win for either man, could possibly propel them into a title shot eliminator.
Keys to The Fight
It’s no secret that when people think about Manuwa, they think power. The 37 year-old has recorded five UFC wins to date, and in four of those, Manuwa finished his opponent. Not only has the “Poster Boy” showcased finishing ability with his fists, as he did last time out against Ovince Saint Preux, Manuwa has also stopped opponents with vicious leg kicks.
Much of Anderson’s success, on the other hand, stems from his wrestling and top game. According to Fight Metric, Anderson has averaged 4.4 takedowns per bout, and he’s scoring takedowns at a rate of 52%. But, the 27 year-old’s offense certainly isn’t limited to grappling, as Anderson has been enlisting the services of renowned striking coach, Mark Henry.
While Anderson could certainly hurt Manuwa on the feet, his clearest path to victory is to take the fight down. For Manuwa, he’s going to need to use his footwork and range, to minimize the takedown attempts of Anderson, and find a target for his heavy hands.
Heading into the bout, Manuwa’s takedown defense percentage is sitting at 63%, which could be viewed as a promising stat for this fight. But, it’s worth noting that Manuwa hasn’t faced any fighters during his UFC run, with the wrestling pedigree of Anderson. Further, one would think that because of Anderson’s takedowns, Manuwa won’t be firing off too many leg kicks, which is one of his key weapons.
Bottom line? While the oddsmakers have Manuwa as the favorite, if Anderson can avoid getting tagged early on, and is able to score some takedowns, look for him to score a late stoppage or decision win.
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UFC FN 107 will be hosted by the O2 Arena and the event will be broadcast on Fight Pass.