Search icon


07th Apr 2017

Jimi Manuwa booked a flight to Buffalo the second he found out Jon Jones would be there

Not missing out

Darragh Murphy

Jimi Manuwa wasn’t going to sit idly by from his London home and watch Jon Jones steal the limelight.

We haven’t heard from Jones since that tearful interview that followed his failed drug test last July which forced him off the monster UFC 200 card on just days notice.

But as his return date draws nearer and the man who holds the belt ‘Bones’ once called his own aims to defend his title against the hardest hitter in the division, Jones is keeping his name in the conversation.

Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson fight for the second time this Saturday night with the UFC light heavyweight title on the line and they do so in Buffalo, New York, which is a mere stone’s throw from where Jones grew up.

So it just made sense for Jones to be there to speak to the media but the second that Manuwa, the world’s fourth-ranked 205lber, found out that Jones was going to be in attendance, he got busy booking a flight.

“I wasn’t going to go to Buffalo for UFC 210 until I found out that Jon was going to be there,” Manuwa told JOE on Thursday.

“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 Vegas 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.”

Manuwa placed himself in title contention with a stunning knockout victory over hard-nosed wrestler Corey Anderson in the main event of UFC London last month and surprised everyone in his post-fight interview by calling out former world heavyweight and cruiserweight champion David Haye for a boxing match.

But that cross-sport clash, which ‘The Posterboy’ insists is a done deal, cannot take place until the end of the year at the very earliest as Haye recovers from a ruptured Achilles tendon.

In the meantime, it’s either title shot or Jones for Manuwa.

“Jones is back in July and it would be great to fight him,” Manuwa said. “He’s the best pound-for-pound fighter of all time and the chance to fight him would be something that would be impossible to turn down. It would be an honour to share the Octagon with a legend like him.

“As much as I’d love to fight Jon, I’d prefer a title fight with the winner of Cormier vs. ‘Rumble’.

“But either way, I’ll have to fight Jon at some stage regardless so I wouldn’t be against the idea of testing my skills against him.”