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Friday, Mar 07, 2014

UFC FN 37’s Jimi Manuwa Talks Alexander Gustafsson: “I Don’t Think Anyone’s Chin Can Take my Full Power”

Manuwa (photo via UFC.com)

By FCF Staff

Although the consensus opinion is that Jimi Manuwa will not spoil Alexander Gustafsson’s hopes of rematching Jon Jones later this year at UFC Fight Night 37, the pre-fight narrative says he certainly has the ability. After all, despite the fact Manuwa is not a top ten ranked light-heavyweight (he’s currently #11) and hasn’t defeated a top contender, the “Poster Boy’s” record is littered with stoppage wins.

In fact, all 14 of Manuwa’s victories have come way of knockout, TKO, or submission. On paper, that makes the 34 year-old fighter a very dangerous opponent for anybody, #1 contender or not.

“I don’t think anyone’s chin can take my full power of a shot,” Manuwa recently relayed on FOX Sports 1’s “UFC Tonight” show. “Anyone can get anyone standing. It’s about landing the shot to make it effective.”

“Manuwa has finished everyone he’s fought and won every fight by stoppage,” commentator and UFC vet Chael Sonnen noted on the show. “How do you not have a large amount of confidence with that?”

Since Manuwa arrived in the UFC in 2012, the British fighter has lived up to his reputation as a finisher by stopping Kyle Kingsbury, Cyrille Diabate and Ryan Jimmo. The question remains, however, will he be able to break through the reach and length of the 6’4 tall Gustafsson? Or counter “The Mauler’s” own renowned striking assault?

“I fought Cyrille Diabate and didn’t have any problem getting in,” the 6’0 tall Manuwa noted, who forced the 6’6 Diabate to retire after one round at UFC on FUEL TV 7 last February. “I’ll get my job done.”

Manuwa (photo via Twitter / @POSTERBOYJM)

“What I like about him, he’s so composed in the pocket,” lightweight contender Gilbert Melendez said about Manuwa. “He’s got great striking and he’s going to take some to give some. I like his technique. Hopefully he has the footwork.”

While Gustafsson’s stand-up skills gave Jones plenty of difficulties in their epic, UFC 165 battle, the challenger also impressed with his wrestling skills that night. In fact, Manuwa evidently believes that the Swedish light-heavyweight will turn to his grappling game on Saturday, rather than risk trading with the powerful fighter.

“I think he’ll try to take me down,” Manuwa relayed to “UFC Tonight”. “You never know what can happen. It’s MMA. It’s not a stand-up fight. It’s not a wrestling fight. Anything can happen.”

If Gustafsson wins this weekend, then he will lock up a rematch with Jones, provided the champion defeats Glover Teixeira on April 26th. If Manuwa is victorious, however, the outcome is less clear.

“I’ve never called anyone out,” said Manuwa, while discussing who he wants to fight next if he wins at UFC London. “My main goal is to get the belt and fight the champion. Whether it’s one, two, or three fights away, that’s my goal.”

And how does Manuwa see Saturday’s bout with Gustafsson unfolding?

“It ends with a stoppage, violently, within the distance.”

UFC FN 37 will be hosted by London’s 02 Arena and will be broadcast throughout North America via UFC Fight Pass.


posted by FCF Staff @ 10:04 am
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