UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier got into a heated exchange with his arch rival Jon Jones earlier this week. The two fighters are set to meet in a rematch at UFC 214 later this month.
Now, another light heavyweight fighter is throwing some heat towards the UFC champion. Top contender Jimi Manuwa recently made an appearance on MMA-Panelen (transcript courtesy of MMA Fighting, and during the show, he responded Cormier’s appearance on The MMA Hour a few weeks ago where Cormier said he was offered a fight with Manuwa. However, he wanted the Jones rematch because it “got his juices going” whereas Manuwa “has no chance” against him. Those are some strong words from the champ.
“F**k Daniel Cormier. He’s a f**king fat wrestler, and I don’t really give a s**t what he says. Everyone says he’s a nice guy, but I don’t really like him. He seems to me like a bully, and I don’t like bullies. He’s got the belt, he’s a great fighter and everything. I respect him for that, but as a person, I don’t really like him. I don’t like his attitude towards other fighters. He kind of looks down on people and stuff. So I don’t really respect him, and I don’t believe he will get out of round two with me,” Manuwa said.
“I think his last fight with [Anthony] ‘Rumble’ Johnson, Rumble let him off lightly. I believe that Rumble made huge mistakes in that fight and he probably knows it himself. That’s not the way to fight a wrestler or someone like Daniel Cormier. I won’t be making those mistakes against Cormier if I fight him. So f**k Daniel Cormier, and for now, I’m just focused on Volkan, and we’ll cross that bridge after I beat Volkan Oezdemir.”
If you recall, Manuwa began calling for a title shot against Cormier after knocking out Corey Anderson at UFC Fight Night 107. He also sat cage side for Cormier’s big win over Anthony Johnson earlier this year. Manuwa was matched against rising contender Oezdemir on the undercard of UFC 214 after the promotion announced Cormier vs. Jones 2. This was done as a backup plan due to Jones’ reputation of being pulled out of bouts. If there was an issue, then Manuwa would be able to step in and fight Cormier at the event. Manuwa says he is still ready to jump in.
“It’s been said, but my focus has been fully on Volkan Oezdemir. I’m so focused on him, I think about him every day. I think about him in training. I think about him when I’m tired. I’m fully focused on him. But to me, I don’t see names, I just see bodies. I’ve just got an opponent, and I’m training for him. Whether it be Volkan Oezdemir, whether it be Daniel Cormier, whether it be Jon Jones, whoever. I’ve just got an opponent, and I’m training for him. So it doesn’t really matter who I’m fighting.”
If Manuwa can pick up another big win then he should be in line for a title shot. Manuwa could get passed over for his friend and teammate, Alexander Gustafsson, who recently scored a big knockout win over Glover Teixeira. Manuwa believes that the performance he’s going to put on against Oezdemir will send a message to the entire division and hopefully put him next in line.
“I don’t know. If Jones wins, I think Alex and Jones two would be such a huge fight but at the same time, I haven’t fought Jon Jones. I believe Jon Jones will got knocked out if he fought me. I believe DC won’t get out of round two if he fought me. Alex has fought Jones and DC in two razor sharp fights so him against any one of them would be a huge, massive fight. Me against any one of them would be the unknown and me knocking out Oezdemir is gonna send shockwaves through the whole of the division saying I’m the real deal.”
Cormier doesn’t seem to be fazed by Manuwa’s comments due to this tweet that he has sent out:
I love you Jimi. And no matter how bad u speak of me that won't change. Ur the best and good luck next week. Ur friend, DC https://t.co/SIiBATPv5v
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) July 19, 2017