Jimi Manuwa does not want Jon Jones to be handed a UFC title shot before he is
Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson will face off in Buffalo, New York on Saturday night with the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship on the line.
Manuwa, the No 4 ranked challenger in the division, expects to be handed a title shot against the winner on Saturday but could find himself beaten to it by ‘Bones’ Jones, who will be eligible to fight again after a drugs ban in July.
But Manuwa is not interested in watching Jones given what he sees as his fight and is only flying out to UFC 210 because the American will be there.
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“I wasn't going to go until I heard Jon Jones was going,” Manuwa told Express Sport.
“He's not going to be jumping in front of me in the line for this one.
“I’d probably end up fighting him there and then.
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Jimi Manuwa has already fought Anthony Johnson but admits he made a mistake in his defeat
“F**k that! You can’t come off a ban for steroids and jump straight into a title fight.
“That’s no good.
“I’ve been busy working my a*** off and knocking people out. I deserve the title shot. I’ll fight him for it in the car park!”
Manuwa last fought when he headlined UFC Fight Night in London, knocking out Corey Anderson in the first round to improve to 17-2 in the paid ranks.
That followed a spectacular defeat of Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 204, enhancing his reputation as a knockout merchant – 15 of his 17 wins have come by that method.
And the Brit is supremely confident that he will be lifting the UFC championship belt later this year no matter who stands between him and the title.
“I don’t care if I fight Cormier or Johnson,” Manuwa added.
Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson will face off for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
“They’re both top high-level fighters and either of them is going to be hard.
“I fought Rumble Johnson before and I lost but I had my reasons for that.
“I made a mistake in the fight and my training for that was all wrong.
“Since that loss my whole performance and training has changed and it’s shown in my last fights. “We’re two of the hardest hitting fighters in the division and it would make for a spectacular fight.
“And I don’t believe Cormier is as tough as he believes and everyone else believes.
“He got hit by that Johnson punch and everyone says it was Rumble’s best punch, but it wasn’t.
“He was off-balance and he stumbled and that’s why it looked so bad but it wasn’t his best.
“He’s got a chin but I don’t think he can take my best shot and I’ll play it different than Rumble did if I fought him.”
And while Manuwa doesn't appear to mind which light heavyweight he faces for the title, he is excited to watch the fighters up close.
“I can’t pick a winner [of Cormier v Johnson],” Manuwa said.
“I’ve been leaning in both directions but I can’t call.
“That’s why I’m going to be happy to watch it live.
“I feel like I’m fighting this weekend because I’m so excited.”