Jimi Manuwa Discusses Alexander Gustafsson, Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre

Manuwa beltMany fans were surprised to see Jimi Manuwa matched up with former title contender Alexander Alexander Gustafsson, arguing that ‘The Mauler’s’ lofty status as number two LHW should make fighting Manuwa a catch 22 situation. Win and Gus gains little, lose and Manuwa will likely receive a title shot, or a pot of gold maybe.

Either way, ‘Poster Boy’ finds himself in a pretty sweet position. His 14-0 record also stands for itself. Many could write Manuwa off ahead of this bout, including Gus who feels he has the better ground game. Manuwa stopped by at Fightersonlymag.com to discuss Gustafsson:

“He is a smart fighter and the smart thing to do is try and take me down. Why risk getting knocked out when you can try and take me down to where he thinks he is stronger? Well, he thinks that he’s stronger and people think that, but we will see,”

Gus scored multiple takedowns during his bout with Jon Jones, who had previously stuffed every attempt in his 12 UFC fights. His wrestling is top level, but Jimi is a powerhouse at 205. I’d be interested to see if ‘The Poster Boy’ can back his words up.

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“I train wrestling defense a lot, I do a lot of floor work. I train mostly off my back, maybe 65% of it off my back and the rest of it on top. I train gi and no-gi as well as judo. Striking is my preferred method to fight but you have to be well-rounded.”

“If you look at Anderson Silva, he is the greatest mixed martial artist of all time but he prefers to keep it standing. He is good on the ground as well though. I work submissions and stand-ups, maybe slightly more towards stand-ups so I can get the fight back where I want it.”

gustafssonManuwa has finished every single opponent by TKO or submission, a statement in itself but when you consider that he has only beaten Kyle Kingsbury, Ryan Jimmo and Cyril Diabate; meh. JM then gave his two cents on GSP and his sorta retirement:

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“He’s 32 now and it is a good age for him, if the hunger has gone then it is a good time to retire. There will always be someone knocking on the door for him, a new challenger or a superfight, so people would be waiting for him to lose.”

“I think GSP has served the UFC well and he has been a great champion. He has done a lot for the sport and I don’t think he has anything left to prove, It is good that he is going out as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time.”

As if that weren’t enough, Manuwa even gave his Silva vs. Weidman II prediction and he is backing ‘The Spider’ to win big early on:

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“I think Anderson Silva stops him first or second round. Anderson is really angry and he won’t be taking any chances this time. I think he is going to get the job done very quickly.”

Chances are, I may be present in London for Manuwa vs. Gustafsson in March, and I have a feeling I may witness an early front runner for fight of the year.