Jimi Manuwa is looking to build on the biggest win of his career with a knockout of Corey Anderson at UFC Fight Night 108 in London, England.
‚ÄėThe Poster Boy‚Äô climbed to number four in the UFC‚Äôs 205lb rankings with a spectacular KO of Ovince Saint Preux in November at UFC 204, and expects his momentum to carry him to victory on Saturday night.
‚ÄúMy confidence is at an all-time high, I‚Äôve been training with the best in the world and I‚Äôm doing very well in training,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúMy confidence is sky high now and I can‚Äôt wait to fight.‚ÄĚ
A win would put Manuwa in a strong position for title contention. UFC president Dana White has confirmed as much and suggested a win in a big fight in the States could push him towards that position. Manuwa, however, is cool on the idea, but says he would do what it takes to get to the title.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt mind going to America,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not a big must for me. It‚Äôs not something I‚Äôve set out to do, but if that‚Äôs where it takes me, that‚Äôs where it takes me. The only time I fought in America was against ‚ÄėRumble‚Äô (Anthony Johnson) and I didn‚Äôt really like the experience over there. I was jet-lagged. Maybe next time I‚Äôll go out a lot earlier so I can acclimatize. Then again, I learned from it. I changed my training after that fight. I had to be a lot bigger.‚ÄĚ
After almost five years in the UFC, Manuwa is one of the most experienced British fighters in the promotion, but he‚Äôs not concerned with being any kind of pioneering representative for the sport in his homeland like Michael Bisping or Brad Pickett ‚Äď who has the final fight of his career on Saturday‚Äôs main card.¬†
‚ÄúAfter I get my title, I‚Äôll be known as someone who wasn‚Äôt in a boring fight ever and someone who always put on a great performance,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôll be me. I don‚Äôt mind not being the nice guy ‚Äď someone who comes to fight. I‚Äôve always been more concentrated on fighting, getting the job done and knocking them out and stopping the fights. That‚Äôs been more my focus and I think that‚Äôs what I‚Äôll be remembered for.‚ÄĚ
On that note, the Londoner doesn‚Äôt expect the contest with Anderson to test his cardio for the full 25 minutes. He predicts a short, but exciting conclusion to Saturday evening‚Äôs action.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt see it going five rounds. I know he‚Äôs got a good gas tank ‚Äď we‚Äôve seen his fights ‚Äď but he hasn‚Äôt fought someone who‚Äôs going to put it on him properly,‚ÄĚ Manuwa said. ‚ÄúI just can‚Äôt wait to fight him. He‚Äôs fought no one like me ‚Äď no one who‚Äôs got the potential to end the fight with one shot.
‚Äú(It will finish) only one way: with him on the floor or with the ref stopping it. He‚Äôs actually got good striking so I‚Äôm not looking past his striking. I‚Äôve still got to be careful and be on the ball in there but I‚Äôm not thinking about what he‚Äôs doing. I‚Äôm going to walk through his shots to land mine and see what happens.‚ÄĚ