Following his knockout win over Corey Anderson in the main event of UFC Fight Night 107 from London on Saturday, Jimi Manuwa took aim at former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Manuwa said he wasn’t interested in fighting the decorated but troubled former champion Jones, who has been sidelined following a failed drug test just days prior to last July’s UFC 200:
“I’m not interested in Jon Jones,” Manuwa said at the UFC Fight Night 107 post-fight presser. “Jon Jones takes steroids and now he has been banned for steroids. Before I was a big fan of Jon Jones, the things he has done in the Octagon and everything. But he has been suspended for a year or something.”
After expressing disinterest in “Bones” and calling out everyone from the winner of “Rumble” Johnson vs. Daniel Cormier to boxer David Haye, the British slugger elaborated on his post-fight speech this week just days removed from his second brutal knockout victory in a row:
“My next fight should be either Daniel Cormier, Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson, Jon Jones or David Haye,” Manuwa said on Monday, during an appearance on The MMA Hour. “Those are the four people on my list. And out of them, I don’t mind who I fight.”
“Bones” hasn’t fought since winning the interim 205-pound strap by decision over Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 197 in April 2016.
Manuwa (17-2) is currently riding a two-fight win streak, with both victories coming by knockout. While “The Poster Boy” is looking to capture UFC gold, he thinks a fight with Jones just doesn’t appear to be in the cards:
“He’s not on my agenda right now. My agenda is the belt. That’s what I want is the belt.”
With DC and “Rumble” set to rematch at UFC 210 in April, Manuwa has certainly put himself in a position for a title shot, but with Jones tentatively scheduled to return in July and still a big part of the shallow, uncertain light heavyweight pool, that’s far from a certainty.
Fans online have offered the stance that “The Poster Boy” is scared to face the dominant champ, a notion he quickly rebuffed:
“Some of his fans saying he’d crush me and I’m scared to fight him and all this shit, but these are just Twitter maniacs,” he said. “I know I’m not scared. Come on, I took a fight with ‘Rumble’ Johnson with four-and-a-half weeks’ notice. Why would I be scared to fight Jon Jones? I fear no man.”