With all of the notable draws booked it now falls to London based Jimi Manuwa to provide the main event attraction for what is set to be a capacity crowd. It’s the second time that Manuwa will top the bill at the 02 a spot that he only had to ask for once.
“I asked for it and it was done no questions asked.” Manuwa told me. “I texted Dana and told him I felt I should have been main event in London. Who else is going to be main event? I’m ranked number 5 in the world and that speaks for itself. The deal was done the same day.”
“Nothing has changed for me other than now I’m the main fight of the night. I’m going to put on a performance as usual. I believe I should have been main event anyway. I don’t know whether they were struggling so I put a call in.”
In the course of discussion we naturally move onto his preparations for his opponent, number 9 ranked Cory Anderson, Manuwa’s tone, demeaner and cadence take a pretty chilling direction as he offers: “He knows what’s coming to him and that’s it.”
“Cory Anderson has got a whole lot of rage coming to him. !’m pissed off. I’m missing my children, I miss London. Anderson is on my mind constantly, I think about him when I go to sleep and he’s gonna pay. He’s gonna pay for it when we meet face to face.”
“Everyone knows that I don’t mess about. I was watching Chris Eubank today and he said ‘it’s only a sport to a spectator, to me it’s not a game, we can get hurt in there’. For me I’m in there against another man who is trained to hurt me it’s not a sport I’m taking it seriously in there and I’m coming at them with full force.”
With his attention set firmly on taking out his next opponent, Manuwa is clear on his longer term aspirations of lifting the light-heavyweight belt around his waist by the end of 2017. In the meantime, whilst never one to choose his next opponent, he does have a preferred winner between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson.
“I would prefer Rumble to win as he’s more of an exciting fighter, Cormier is a boring fighter. I don’t like watching him fight, I’d like to fight him at some point but I would love a rematch with Johnson. I’m leaning more toward Cormier winning as he is tough enough to withstand the onslaught of Johnson.”