It’s very rare that Jimi ‘Posterboy’ Manuwa allows an opponent’s words stir him to any kind of emotion. Of late the closest we’ve seen him exercising controlled aggression outside of the octagon was when he roared cage side at Daniel Cormier as they exchanged words when Manuwa sought to let the current Light Heavyweight champion know his desire to face him for the LHW strap.
Speaking exclusively to WHOA TV, after the official announcement that Thiago ‘Marreta’ Santos will replace Glover Teixeira, I definitely get the sense recent comments made by ‘Maretta’ have inspired Manuwa to want to encourage more manners out of the Brazillian. Santos’ recent tweets, seen by the ‘Posterboy’ have served only to steady his resolve to finish his opponent. This time, in devastating fashion.
— Thiago Marreta (@TMarretaMMA) August 15, 2018
Reflecting on reports he had initially turned the fight down when it was initially offered Manuwa is resolute as he tells me, “I really just wanted a higher ranked opponent than Santos. I want to move forward, he’s only ranked number 12 as a middleweight, I saw no incentive to fight him.” Pausing as though reflecting on ‘Marreta’s’ Tweet, “This kid, it seems like he’s got a lot of mouth for a middleweight,” Manuwa said. “I’m going to teach him that he needs to show f–kin’ respect. I’m going to show him f–kin’ violence.”
Going into enemy territory for some might be a daunting task, particularly, as is the case with Manuwa, coming off the back of two losses. Add to this unfamiliar surroundings, heat, elevation all of these have proven to be the undoing of many who have ventured into Brazil to clash opponents. Manuwa has no such fears, “I was brought up in the jungle.” he said, referring to his childhood in Nigeria, “It’s going to be like going home.”
In the run up to many of his fights Jimi has always shown an unwavering confidence and steadfast belief in his KO power and ability to finish a fight with his trademark left hook. This time Manuwa is uncharacteristically descriptive of the finish he forsees being delivered as he explains, “I’m gonna bring Santos’ head back to London.” Not content on that as a descriptor he continues by stating, “I’m going to put his head on a stake and let my dogs play with it.”
Since our initial meeting in 2009 and numerous pre and post fight interviews I’ve never known an opponent to rile Jimi to a point where it’s clear there is an obvious disliking for them. Using the old cliche Jimi usually ‘lets his work speak for itself’ as he backs the line up by offering, “I don’t do Twitter beef, but my beef is real. When I see him, it’s on sight!”
Manuwa vs Santos headlines a stacked night of fights that will take place at UFC Fight Night 137 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Sept. 22. We will of course keep you up to date with the latest news relating to the event in the run up to fight night.
The UFC Fight Night 137 card as of today:
Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
Tonya Evinger vs. Ketlen Vieira
Sam Alvey vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Neil Magny vs. Alex Oliveira
Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Elias Theodorou
Evan Dunham vs. Francisco Trinaldo
Luis Henrique vs. Ryan Spann
Renan Barao vs. Andre Ewell
Sergio Moraes vs. Ben Saunders
Thales Leites vs. Hector Lombard
Belal Muhammad vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
Alex Chambers vs. Livia Renata Souza