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Jimi Manuwa’s confidence ‘sky high’ ahead of UFC London main event

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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.

 

‘The Poster Boy’ climbed to number four in the UFC’s 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.

“My confidence is at an all-time high, I’ve been training with the best in the world and I’m doing very well in training,” he said. “My confidence is sky high now and I can’t wait to fight.”

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.

“I don’t mind going to America,” he said. “It’s not a big must for me. It’s not something I’ve set out to do, but if that’s where it takes me, that’s where it takes me. The only time I fought in America was against ‘Rumble’ (Anthony Johnson) and I didn’t really like the experience over there. I was jet-lagged. Maybe next time I’ll 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.”

After almost five years in the UFC, Manuwa is one of the most experienced British fighters in the promotion, but he’s not concerned with being any kind of pioneering representative for the sport in his homeland like Michael Bisping or Brad Pickett – who has the final fight of his career on Saturday’s main card. 

“After I get my title, I’ll be known as someone who wasn’t in a boring fight ever and someone who always put on a great performance,” he said. “That’ll be me. I don’t mind not being the nice guy – someone who comes to fight. I’ve always been more concentrated on fighting, getting the job done and knocking them out and stopping the fights. That’s been more my focus and I think that’s what I’ll be remembered for.”

On that note, the Londoner doesn’t expect the contest with Anderson to test his cardio for the full 25 minutes. He predicts a short, but exciting conclusion to Saturday evening’s action.

“I don’t see it going five rounds. I know he’s got a good gas tank – we’ve seen his fights – but he hasn’t fought someone who’s going to put it on him properly,” Manuwa said. “I just can’t wait to fight him. He’s fought no one like me – no one who’s got the potential to end the fight with one shot.

“(It will finish) only one way: with him on the floor or with the ref stopping it. He’s actually got good striking so I’m not looking past his striking. I’ve still got to be careful and be on the ball in there but I’m not thinking about what he’s doing. I’m going to walk through his shots to land mine and see what happens.”