Light heavyweights Jimi Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz faced off in the co-main event today (Saturday, March 17, 2018) in the O2 Arena in London, England, broadcast live on UFC Fight Pass. The bout was a rematch of their 2015 fight, which Manuwa won via decision.
Manuwa opened with a switchkick that fell short but brought an “ooh” from the crowd. Blachowicz narrowly avoided two huge left hooks. Manuwa landed a low kick. Manuwa jabbed, looked for his right hand. Jan blocked a switchkick. He threw a jumping switchkick of his own. He countered Manuwa with a combination, knocking Jimi down! Manuwa got back up, bleeding from his nose profusely. Blachowicz walked forward into another huge combination! Manuwa clinched and looked for the takedown, Manuwa held him off, pinned against the cage. Blachowicz landed a few more shots on the clinch break. As the round wore down, Manuwa got aggressive, landing a switchkick and brawling with Jan to the bell.
Manuwa had a look of desperate determinaiotn in his eyes at the start of the second. Blachowicz landed a calf kick, jabbed at Manuwa nicely. Manuwa landed a counter uppercut, Blachowicz countered his pressure with a takedown, but Manuwa used butterfly hooks to shuck him off. This was fast becoming an all-out brawl, with both fighters landing heat. Manuwa was the one stalking in, landed a side kick to the head, then a right straight. Blachowicz pinned a bleeding Manuwa against the cage. Blachowicz got a sweep takedown, almost had Manuwa’s back, the Brit squirmed out, got back to his feet. Manuwa blocked a high kick, pressured, landed a huge shot, immediately had to fend off a takedown. Blachqicz checked a low kick. Manuwa threw a big right overhand that fell short, blocked a combination from Blachowicz. Manuwa landed a HUGE headkick, but Blachowicz just ate it! This fight was immeasurably better than their first bout.
Manuwa jabbed his way in, but ate a counter combination. Manuway threw a hard switchkick. Blachowicz jabbed, Manuwa missed his counter hook. Blachowicz landed a straight left, then a popping jab. They traded. Blachowicz had more volume, landed a slick one-two. Manuwa missed a big right hand. Blachowicz landed a combo into a body kick. Manuwa countered Blachowicz with a hook. Blachowicz changed levels beautifully, putting Manuwa on his back with a double-leg to close out the fight. Entertaining bout, very well matched. Blachowicz really stepped up his game.
Jan said that Jimi is a warrior and told the crowd to support him; he said the gameplan was to take Manuwa down more. He said he never chooses his opponent, he’s ready for everyone... but he’s won three straight, so he expects a commensurate opponent.
Official result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jimi Manuwa via unanimous decision (29-28x2, 30-27)
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