Jimi Manuwa has quickly developed a deep animosity towards light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
Ever since Manuwa has emerged as a top five talent in an otherwise thin division, Cormier has condescended and belittled Manuwa whenever the two have crossed paths. He even asked teammate Kamaru Usman to grab Manuwa’s arm to “see how strong he is””.
With the British slugger on the UFC 214 card as a backup in case Jon Jones fails to make it to fight night, the tension between Cormier and Manuwa has become palpable.
Manuwa discussed his thoughts on a potential fight with DC this past week, and didn’t hold back when assessing Cormier’s skill set.
“I didn’t see anything that was like, ‘wow,’ or anything,” Manuwa said during Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “He’s just a fat wrestler, that’s it. He can’t stand with me, you know what I mean? All he’s got is his wrestling, and all he’s going to try and do is take me down if I fight him. That’s it. He’s very good at it, but that’s all he’s got. If we fight, all I would have to work on is takedown defense, and I’ll knock him out within two rounds.”
“If Jones pulls out or DC pulls out, I’m going to main event and save the card,” Manuwa said, laughing. “I’m preparing for a fight. I’m preparing stand-up, wrestling, judo, everything; I’m just prepared to fight. It doesn’t matter who I’m fighting, whether it’s Daniel Cormier, Jones or Volkan, I’m prepared to fight. I’m doing my runs, I’m doing my cardio, I’m doing my striking, I’m doing my wresting and everything in order to win the fight.
“If it’s DC, I just have to do a little bit of more wrestling. If it’s Jones, I’ll do some wrestling and a little bit more striking. If it’s Volkan, I have to do a little bit more striking and takedown defense and sharpen up everything. So that’s what were doing, sharpening up everything and getting ready for victory.”
While Cormier is set to finally rematch the only man to beat him in Jon Jones at UFC 214, Manuwa will take on surging prospect Volkan Oezdimir on the same card.
Manuwa will serve as the replacement fight should Jones be forced out of his title fight with DC, as has happened before.