Jimi Manuwa wants a shot the at Light Heavyweight strap after knocking out Corey Anderson in the main event of UFC Fight Night 107 in London, England (see it again here), but I just don’t think the time is right for a title shot.
Granted, he’s looked good in his two devastating victories over Ovince Saint Preux and the aforementioned Anderson, but those two wins don’t necessarily warrant the winner of Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson — who are set to run it back for the strap at UFC 210 on April 8, 2017.
“Posterboy” needs one more big win — in my opinion — to get him to the big dance. While we know rankings rarely mean anything anymore when it comes to title shots, Manuwa -- ranked No. 4 — has already declared he won’t face Alexander Gustafsson again — who is ranked No. 2.
There is always Glover Teixiera, who he was supposed to fight last night in London before “Hands of Stone” was forced out and ultimately booked to face “The Mauler” this May. I don’t think a win for either of those men will put them at the forefront of a title fight, especially with Jon Jones pretty much promised dibs once he returns.
That said, I don’t think Jones deserve an instant title shot, either, not after all the drama he’s caused the promotion with his troubles in and out of the Octagon over the last few years.
But, Jones is a “cash cow” and UFC is business, so when business needs to boom, you bring in the big guns, so I understand that side of it. Still, I’d much rather see a No. 1 contender’s fight between Jon and Jimi.
Manuwa is confident he can sleep “Bones,” even if he is hopped up on “steroids.” And while he’d prefer to go straight to the big dance, he wouldn’t be opposed to facing Jones if the UC wanted it.
The winner would be the clear-cut No. 1 contender for the strap, and allow potentially some new blood to get into the mix not named Johnson, Cormier or Jones.