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06th Apr 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Jimi Manuwa has spoken to David Haye and insists that fight is very much on

"We're both set on the fight."

Darragh Murphy

Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather isn’t the only mixed martial artist vs. boxer bout being discussed.

When Jimi Manuwa brutally knocked out Corey Anderson in the main event of UFC London last month, everyone expected a few names to come out of his mouth – Daniel Cormier, Anthony Johnson, Jon Jones.

Nobody expected the utterance ofĀ “David Haye, let’s do this!”

The call-out came out of nowhere but it soon gathered legs as Manuwa explained how he wanted to find out who would come out on top in the all-London showdown.

An update arrived last week whenĀ Haye admitted that the UFC, as well as Manuwa’s management, had been in touch which suggested that the wheels were in motion.

And Manuwa has since revealed that a one-on-one discussion between the fighters had taken place.

“I spoke to David personally last week,” Manuwa told JOE. “We’re both set on the fight. We both want to make the fight happen.

“I just have to speak to the powers that be in the UFC and see what happens.

“There isn’t a timeline in place yet because it would be impossible to set a date with his injury. He suffered a bad injury in his last fight so it’s just going to be a conversation we revisit towards the end of the year when he’s able to return to training.

“But it will happen.”

Haye’s most recent bout, a grudge match with Tony Bellew, was ultimately decided by the Achilles injury from which he is currently recovering.

Initially it was believed that he may be forced into retirement but Haye insists that he intends to return to the ring.

And while Haye undergoes an arduous rehabilitation process, Manuwa is going to get busy trying to set up a run at the UFC light heavyweight title.

Sat at fourth in the UFC rankings, the Londoner has never been closer to a title shot and once he found out that 205lbs great Jon Jones will be in attendance at UFC 210 this weekend, when Daniel Cormier defends his strap against challenger Anthony Johnson, Manuwa booked a flight.

“I wasn’t going to goĀ to Buffalo for UFC 210 until I found out that Jon was going to be there,” Manuwa said.

“I couldn’t let him have that advantage of being there when the winner’s name is announced because straight away that would have made the commentators and everyone put his name at the top of the list.

“But now I’m going to fly to Las VegasĀ and then on to New York so I’ll be there to throw a cat among the pigeons.

“I intend to stir things up but I don’t know what’s going to happen.

“The UFC could offer me the winner of Cormier vs. ‘Rumble’. Or they could offer me the loser, or Jon Jones or even ‘Shogun’. I’m not all that interested in the ‘Shogun’ fight though because a victory over him doesn’t really do any good to my goals.

“The next few days will be huge. I’m looking forward to meeting Dana White and my manager in the States. Stay tuned! That’s all I’ll say.”