UFC light heavyweight contender Jimi Manuwa announced his retirement from mixed martial arts on Tuesday morning.
Manuwa, 39, suffered his fourth defeat in a row when he was knocked out by Aleksandar Rakic in the co-main event of UFC Stockholm this past weekend (Sat. June 1, 2019). It was also his fifth knockout defeat in his last nine UFC fights.
Following his latest setback, “Poster Boy” decided to call time on his career and focus on his health.
“I came to London from Nigeria when i was 10 yrs old in 1990,” Manuwa wrote on Instagram. “I grew up in south London and had crazy teenage years filled with fights and life lessons. In 2006 i was 26 years old and i discovered the ufc while flicking through the sports channels late at night , it immediately captured me , the likes of rampage jackson, tito ortiz , randy couture , shogun were my favourite fighters and i became a fan instantly.
“I’d never set foot in any martial arts gym in my life and neither didn’t have any plans to. In 2008 i was 28 years old and i said to myself that i’m gonna fight for the ufc. i got off my sofa and started training muay thai and bjj , i had no martial arts experience but i was a tough c*nt from south london. Martial arts immediately put more structure and discipline into my crazy life and helped me become a much better person than i was previously. I had my first pro fight after 2 weeks training and i won. within the first 2 years i was uk number 1, but the goal was to fight for the ufc. I won all my fights by ko and in 2012 i accepted a ufc contract after turning them down twice with an 11-0 record all knockouts.
“I’ve had a great martial arts career and the last 4 fights have been tough losses to take not only for myself but for my family who is always first, ive given out a mostly knockouts and taken a few myself , that’s my fan loving style but it takes a toll on the body especially concussions which are not visible to the eye i’ve met a lot of great people along the way and travelled the world but it’s time to leave this chapter and on to the next one because there’s a life after fighting and i feel it’s my obligation to give more to combat sports which i love dearly outside of fighting. Thank you @danawhite and the @ufc for letting me showcase my skills and thank you to all my coaches and training partners who have helped and taught me along the way , much love to the fans and last but not least much love to my dear family who together we made this dream a reality. Jimi POSTERBOY Manuwa PB1… stay tuned.”
Manuwa retires with a 17-6 record, 15 of which were knockout wins. He holds victories over the likes of Jan Blachowicz, Ovince Saint Preux and Corey Anderson.
At one point, it felt like the Briton was closing in on a title shot when Daniel Cormier was the champion. However, he suffered a knockout defeat to Volkan Oezdemir in the summer of 2017, which spiraled into his current four-fight losing streak.
However, Manuwa has helped put UK MMA on the map and will be missed in the Octagon.