The UFC’s favorite can crusher from across the pond, Jimi Manuwa, was the latest fighter to make headlines for absolute nonsense uncontrollably leaking out of his mouth. In an interview with MMAJunkie.com, Manuwa decided to take a ride on his own hype train and made claims in reference to the light heavyweight division stating “I’d destroy everybody” and “Me and Alex are the best in the world”. Unfortunately for Jimi, last I checked the UFC is still holding out on a tag team division and until that happens he cannot ride Gustaffson’s success. The fact of the matter is Gustaffson has elite talent, but his record in title fights proves he is not the best in the world just yet. Manuwa on the other hand is nothing more than a senior level gatekeeper in the division.
I enjoy Manuwa’s fighting style as a fan, but just because he is willing to stand and bang doesn’t mean I am only going to consider his recent KO’s of Corey Anderson and OSP when gauging talent. Jimi is 37 years old, at this point we need to look at success over his entire career span. He is far past his prime and fighters at this age are historically on the decline. It is far fetched to think he could finally be making the leap to elite contender at this point. I understand there are cases where older fighters have great success, but they are few, far between, and surely not Jimi Manuwa.
To call a spade a spade, Manuwa compiled an 11-0 record fighting bums who would sign a waiver and step in the cage after their footie and 15-20 beers were finished. He won all of those fights by stoppage, although I am still awaiting evidence of punches landed. I’ve always assumed the opponents just passed out from intoxication. Since then, Jimi has 6 wins in the UFC against only 2 losses. When looking at his UFC record on the surface one might think, “this is a contender”, but I assure you he is nothing more than a pretender.
To break it down, here are his wins and their record fighting in the UFC:
Kyle Kingsbury (4-5 UFC), Cyrille Diabate (4-4 UFC), Ryan Jimmo (3-4 UFC), Jan Blachowicz (2-4 UFC), Ovince Saint Preux (8-5 UFC), Corey Anderson (6-3 UFC).
Now, here are his losses:
Alexander Gustaffson (10-4 UFC), Anthony Johnson (13-6 UFC)
The proof is in the pudding, or should I say custards, with Jimi Manuwa. He can beat average talent, but can’t hang with the elites. The sport needs plenty of gatekeepers, and he is a perfect fit. I respect the journeymen of the sport, but fighters must be mindful of their actions and abilities. It is so insane for someone with Jimi Manuwa’s resume to call out freak talents such as Jon Jones (17-0 UFC – we all know he beat Hamill) and Daniel Cormier (8-1 UFC) that I’m amazed the story got coverage at all. I guess at the end of the day, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, as foolish as it may be.