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It's Jimi Manuwa time


HE’S NOT the headline fight at this weekend’s UFC event at the Manchester Phones 4U Arena but Jimi Manuwa isn’t concerned with glitz and glamour, only with getting the job done.

Approaching his third UFC fight, Manuwa told the Voice of Sport that he had learned a lot from the first two encounters and although they didn’t neccesarily end the way he’d anticipated, he was still unbeaten and the future was looking bright.

He said: “I won (my last fight) that’s the main thing. I knew how the fight was going to go and I dominated.

“The first two fights were against hard opponents. Before I fought in the UFC I had seen both fighters and always felt they would be my first opponents. Kingsbury was tough, so was Diabate and it was great to fight against them.”

He added: “I feel very confident approaching this fight; Ryan Jimmo is a very good opponent who has only lost twice in twenty fights.
“I’m not taking him lightly. He’s good at MMA but he’s a striker, I’m a striker, it should be a good fight.”

Briton Michael Bisping was meant to headline the UFC show this weekend, but the Sheffield fighter had to withdraw following an injury sustained during training.

Manuwa, 33, admitted it would be nice to be the main attraction on the bill, but respects the journey MMA fighters have to endure before they become a household name.

“I’m not in any rush to get any type of status or anything; I just want to win all of my fights. It’s only a matter of time before that (main event) happens. I’ve just got to keep knocking them out and I will be main bill.

ON THE ATTACK: Manuwa (right) in action against Kyle Kingsbury during the UFC on Fuel event at Nottingham's Capital FM Arena

Continuing, he said: “I know it’s going to come, I’m not in any rush and I won’t be calling anyone out to try and be main event, I know it’s going to happen, my record speaks for itself, they will come calling for me.”

Looking and feeling decidedly stronger now than at any point in his career Manuwa attributed his positive health to adding yoga and swimming to his already packed training regime.

“I haven’t really done too many things that are different in the run up to this fight; I’ve varied my training and introduced yoga and swimming.

“I think yoga is good for the whole body, it’s good for flexibility which I think every athlete needs. It’s also good for meditating and things like that.
“I’ve added swimming, which for me is all about mastering breathing, which I am still trying to get the hang of but I try.

“I do 10 to 15 lengths after training and its helping; it helps to calm my body down.”
Manuwa faces a tough test this weekend but has said that his self-belief and determination don’t allow him to contemplate anything other than success.

“I’m going to fight (this weekend) and get the win and then I’m onto the next one after that. I’d like to fight maybe three times (next year).

“I don’t like fighting too many times in a year because I like to carry on learning and training and getting better, I don’t like to rush things. Possibly a title shot in 2015, possibly.”

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