In an interview with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani yesterday, UFC light-heavyweight champ Jon Jones had mixed words to say about undefeated British bruiser Jimi Manuwa.
Manuwa stepped-in as Gustafsson’s next opponent after Lil’ Nog could not go forward with the fight due to a previous injury and the two will battle when the UFC return to London next March.
When asked what he thought about the UFC assigning Alexander Gustafsson someone who was ranked even further down than Lil’ Nog he replied, “no I’m not surprised…people wanna see the rematch [Jones v Gustafsson], this is the UFC’s way of making it happen.”
Based on this quote Jon Jones seems to think that the UFC are trying to give Gustafsson an easy road to back towards a title shot.
The Champ, however, did go on to say that he never saw Manuwa fight but heard he has “an amazing brawling style.. he has knockout power.. he is a guy who brings it.. he is a guy who doesn’t respect people, he goes to win the fight.” But then goes on to say he heard Manuwa has bad cardio and if he comes in with good cardio, against Gustafsson, who knows what could happen.
Manuwa made his UFC debut in 2012 after going 11-0 on the UK scene in promotions like BAMMA and UCMMA, he has since won three straight in the UFC all via the way of TKO stoppages defeating Kyle Kingsbury, Cyrille Diabate and, most recently, Ryan Jimmo.