Daniel Cormier solidified his status as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight champion this past weekend (Sat., Jan. 20, 2018) by defeating Volkan Oezdemir in Boston, Mass., helping rid the stench left behind all of the Jon Jones drama.
But Cormier still has a big target on his back, and one man gunning for it is Jimi Manuwa, who has a bitter past with the champion. And while the consensus is that Alexander Gustafsson will get next dibs against Daniel, Manuwa hopes to face off against “DC” later in the year.
And he is more than confident he has what it takes to stop the champ in under three rounds.
“I hope to get him this year. I truly believe in myself that I can stop ‘DC’ in three rounds. I truly believe that,” said “Posterboy” on a recent interview on The MMA Hour. “All it is is getting there. I believe I am one, possibly two more fights away. I got Jan Błachowicz in March so we will see what happens.”
Indeed, Manuwa will face off against Jan at UFC Fight Night 127 on March 17 in what will be a rematch of their 2015 encounter which Jimi won via unanimous decision. After that, Manuwa says anything is possible should he get another win, as far as the title shot pecking order.
As for his confidence in beating Cormier, Manuwa says it has to do with “DC” thinking he’s more than a “short, fat wrestler.”
“He’s a short, fat wrestler who thinks he can box. He thinks he can kickbox and everything. He’s just a short, fat wrestler, that’s it. I got good jiu-jitsu, good wrestling defense. He will not be able to stand with me,” added Jimi.
“I’m different than Volkan, my striking is different. I am patient, I got knockout power. I’m not going to talk about that, I’m going to do what I’ve always done and let my fighting do the talking. I knocked out Ovince in three rounds, Corey Anderson with one punch, that speaks for itself. I just got caught in my last fight, so I can give it but I can also take it.”
Of course, Manuwa’s last defeat was a 42-second knockout loss to Oezdemir.
As for his beef with “DC,“ Jimi says while he respects him as a champion, he simply doesn’t like him, as he seems to thinks he’s above himself and everyone else.
That said, Cormier is currently above everyone in the 205-pound division, and if Manuwa wants a crack at him, he needs to pick up a win over Jan and pray that he gets a fight against Daniel before year’s end.