Jimi Manuwa has been impressive in his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) career. Undefeated in the Octagon, he's one of the best prospects in the light heavyweight division. In his three fights with the promotion, every single opponent has been finished.
So naturally, it makes sense to take the training wheels off at this point. Up until now, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has been very careful with booking fights for Manuwa as he could be the next British star. But now, Silva and UFC President Dana Whiteagree that it's time to take Jimi Manuwa on the road and have him fight in front of more than just the English audience.
At the UFC Fight Night 30 post-fight press conference, White was singing the praises of Manuwa when he was asked about his performance that night against Ryan Jimmo.
"During the fight, I was texting with Joe Silva. I said, "It's time to take this kid to the next level - get him over fighting in the United States and get him in a big fight with somebody.' I don't know who."
That White sees dollar signs in Manuwa should be the best thing to happen to his career. Manuwa has been popular on the English regional circuit, but hasn't ever brought his talents to international markets. Fighting in front of the UFC faithful in Las Vegas could make him a star.
And he has all the qualities to be the next big thing in mixed martial arts (MMA). He's a dynamic striker who has showing an ability to prevent the fight from hitting the ground. And calling him "dynamic" is really underselling his abilities on the feet. He's downright vicious.
It's now on Manuwa to decide if he's content being the hometown hero or an international superstar. And if White wants him to be a star, that's going to be what happens.