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26th Jul 2017

David Haye reportedly set to fight top UFC light heavyweight early next year

Jimi Manuwa has given a huge update on the fight

Darragh Murphy

This whole boxer vs. mixed martial artist thing is really catching on.

You might have already heard about it but UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor is set to switch codes to make his boxing debut opposite 49-0 great Floyd Mayweather next month.

And that’s seemingly motivated top UFC light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa to cross over for a clash with David Haye.

Manuwa took everyone by surprise by calling out the former world heavyweight and cruiserweight champion following his stunning knockout victory over Corey Anderson in March.

Talks have advanced since that call-out and, following a recent conference call with Haye’s camp, a deal is seemingly all but done.

Speaking with BT Sport just days before his bout with Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 214, ‘The Poster Boy’ has suggested that he could end up meeting Haye as early as next January.

“Me, Dana White and him have talked a lot,” Manuwa said.

“We had a conference call when I was in Vegas meeting Dana. Regardless, Haye’s not going to be ready to fight until November or December so it’s looking like that fight’s going to happen in January-ish next year.”

Haye is currently recovering from the ruptured Achilles tendon he suffered during his March defeat to arch-rival Tony Bellew and suggestions have been made that a rematch is on the cards upon Haye’s return.

It also remains entirely possible that Manuwa gets a UFC light heavyweight title shot with a victory over Oezdemir and, in that scenario, both Manuwa and Haye could each take another fight before meeting in the ring.

“It’s either going to be the David Haye fight or the title shot next,” Manuwa continued.

“Ideally it’ll be the title shot and then David Haye.

“We’ve kind of had a little tiff from a few years back and I wasn’t too impressed with his Tony Bellew fight.

“So I thought me and him could make a really good fight. We’re both roughly the same size, the same frame and we’re both from south London.

“I think it’ll make a beautiful event at the O2 Arena.”