We alluded to the possibility of it happening earlier in the week, but now it has officially been confirmed that British light-heavyweight contender Jimi Manuwa’s next fight will be against Swiss striker Volkan Oezdemir on July 29 at UFC 214.
The fight in Anaheim, California will appear beneath the UFC light-heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones and presumably go some way to deciding who will face the winner of that grudge match in the coming months.
Certainly, Manuwa and Oezdemir, in terms of a title shot opportunity, are there or thereabouts.
Thirty-seven-year-old Manuwa, in fact, had been linked to a fight against Cormier for this summer, only to see his hopes dashed by the return of Jones. He was, up until that point, believed to be leading the race as a result of his recent good form – form which includes stunning first-round knockouts of Corey Anderson and Ovince Saint Preux.
Oezdemir, meanwhile, also holds a win over Saint Preux – albeit one far less spectacular than Manuwa’s – but rose to sudden prominence off the back of a 28-second knockout of fellow prospect Misha Cirkunov last Sunday (May 28). The 27-year-old, previously a heavyweight, is on a rich vein of form and has lost only once in seven years.