From the looks of his Twitter feed it looks as though the meeting Jimi Manuwa told #WHOATV about last week has finally happened today. He has met with Dana White to discuss his next opponent and by all accounts the meeting went well by the looks of the picture.
In the time honored fashion it’s only right we look at the next set of opponents Jimi could possibly face.
1. Daniel “DC” Cormier: Let’s start at the top and work our way down. Now that Cormier has retained his belt and a lot of people are speculating who his next opponent should be. At UFC 210 weekend during press conferences and media scrums, 2 names kept coming up, former champ Jon “Bones” Jones and Poster boy Manuwa. Manuwa is a former UCMMA light heavyweight champion and is currently on a 2 fight win streak with victories over Ovince St Preux and Corey Anderson, the latter of which main evented last month and at the gate drew over 2 million. Clearly Manuwa has drawing power given that UFC 210 with DC and Anthony Johnson headlining drew 2 million at the gate. You could argue Manuwa was in his home town and that might not relate to everywhere else but it’s still something. Also worth noting that UFC 213 right not as it stands the main event is Cody Garbrandt vs TJ Dillashaw, also on the card is Robbie Lawler vs Cowboy Donald Cerrone; Bisping vs GSP doesn’t have a date yet but Poster boy vs DC could be considered for the conversation.
2. Jon “Bones” Jones: The former champ is back in July; it is ideal timing for UFC 213 with a rematch for DC vs Bones. However, recently on Whoatv’s podcast Poster boy expressed interest in fighting the former champion. To be fair, despite Jones being as good as he is, to set a precedent for the division, other fighters and the sport, he should have to earn a title shot by facing a no 1. Contender. I’m not saying it should be for an interim belt because lord knows there is too many of them knocking around but Manuwa would be a good test for Jones and vice versa.
3. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua: Originally this bout was meant to take place at UFC Fight Night 56 in 2014, however it was scrapped due to Manuwa pulling out with an unexpected injury. Right now Manuwa is #3 in the UFC Light Heavyweight rankings and Shogun is #4. Plus a win over Shogun would definitely solidify him as title contender, so that if DC and Bones did fight at UFC 213, Manuwa/Shogun should face the winner.
4. Anderson “The Spider” Silva: I know most of you reading this are expecting the last 2 names to be Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira, however since both men are set to face off at UFC Fight Night 109 against each other, they’ve not made the list, otherwise they would have. Silva makes the list as his middleweight bout with Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 212 has been scrapped due to Gastelum testing positive for weed. Silva needs an opponent and he is no stranger to Light Heavyweight division. A win over Silva is more than a win, it’s an accolade and it would also be a good introduction for Poster boy to the Brazilian Audience.
5. Chris “The All-American” Weidman: Before you choke on your beverage while reading this, hear me out. Gustafsson and Teixeira are occupied and Rumble Johnson has retired, 2 of the 3 would have made this list, but such is life. Weidman is a former Middleweight Champion and the man to stop Anderson Silva’s Streak, he also holds victories over Vitor Belfort and Lyota Machida. He is on a 3 fight lose streak with the last loss against Gegard Mousasi being very unfortunate. Weidman would be a great fit in the light heavyweight division, 205 is around his natural weight, he is an All-American wrestler hence the nickname; so a potential good opponent for champion DC down the road. It would be an opportunity for him and UFC to revitalise his career and Manuwa would be a tough introduction for the former champion.