Former UFC light heavyweight contender, Jimi Manuwa has admitted that he did, in fact, slap former opponent, Aleksandar Rakic during a confrontation at UFC London over the course of last weekend – claiming that he had previously informed the Austrian-born contender of his intentions if they crossed paths.
Manuwa, a pioneer of professional mixed martial arts in the UK, retired from the sport back in June of 2019 following UFC Fight Night Stockholm after he suffered a brutal high kick knockout loss to Rakic.
The defeat saw Manuwa slip to 17-6 as a professional, with the knockout defeat coming as his fourth consecutive loss.
As for Rakic, the light heavyweight contender headlined UFC Vegas 54 most recently, with the #3 ranked contender suffering a knee injury en route to an eventual doctor’s stoppage TKO loss against former champion, Jan Blachowicz in a potential championship eliminator.
Jimi Manuwa claims Aleksandar Rakic has been bragging about his KO win over him
Following UFC London on Saturday, Rakic claimed on his social media that Manuwa had sucker-punched him during an altercation at the O2 Arena, however, the latter has denied that he did, in fact, strike the Austrian with a closed-fist – but insists he did slap Rakic.
“It wasn’t a sucker-punch, we were face-to-face and I slapped him (Aleksandar Rakic) and he moved away and did nothing,” Jimi Manuwa told BJPENN.com. “The security came at the end of it, and I didn’t make a scene. I told him I was going to slap him when I saw him and that is what I did…”
“He was walking past and I said to him, ‘What are you saying now?’” Jimi Manuwa continued. “And he was acting all confused. He tried to keep walking so I slapped him and he was like a fox in the headlights. He didn’t say anything after.”
Pointing out his prior career losses to other perennial light heavyweight contenders, Manuwa insists he has good relationships with them, however, that is far from the case with Rakic.
“The fight is the fight, it’s not the first time I’ve lost,” Jimi Manuwa said. “I’ve lost to ‘Rumble’ Johnson, Gustafsson, Oezdemir, I lost to Blachowicz and we are all friends now. I text them every now and then to check in and we are all respectful. Rakic, I don’t know what it is. I got asked by a fan what fight do I want back and I said this one with Rakic because I feel like I didn’t get to show my real skills.
“He came back and said, ‘Oh, I knocked you out, do you need some money off the 50 bags I earned?’” Jimi Manuwa explained. “Or he sends stuff he bought and says he bought it using the money he got from knocking me out. Just being proper disrespectful and I said to him, ‘When I see you keep the same energy’. And that’s it. I just had to give him what he deserves for acting like a troll and a keyboard warrior online.”