Jimi Manuwa is doing his best to keep his name in the UFC Light Heavyweight Title conversation.
Manuwa, speaking to MMA Junkie radio on Wednesday, said that he feels Cormier is “hiding” from him. Manuwa said that he crossed paths with Cormier backstage at UFC 210 in Buffalo last weekend and that Cormier asked Kamaru Usman, who also fought on the card and happened to be nearby, to grab Manuwa’s shoulder and “see if he’s strong.”
“Why didn’t he come over himself?” Manuwa said. “He was about ten feet away from me. He’s hiding behind his team.” He then went on to say he would have been happy to fight Cormier then and there. He also thinks that he’s on Cormier’s mind, hence all of the attention he got from the champ following his title defense over Anthony Johnson last weekend.
“I think he felt the presence,” Manuwa said. “That’s why he forced himself to come to me. He’s the champion, and he came to me. He’s like, ‘Do you want to fight?’ I’m like, ‘Why do you think? I’m here.’ I’m sitting cage side watching the fight. He felt the presence, and he knows deep down.”
Manuwa is more than ready to take the fight should the opportunity present itself. And while Cormier may need to take some time to let his broken nose from the Johnson fight heal, Manuwa doesn’t think he should get too comfortable. “He knows I’ll break the rest of his face as well,” he said.
With Jon Jones waiting in the wings, but also not being the most reliable of headliners, Manuwa may get his chance.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: It’s smart of Manuwa to keep his name out there for a fight with Cormier. The natural fight for UFC to make is Cormier vs. Jon Jones, but if Manuwa can keep talking and get a reaction out of Cormier, he may be able to drum up enough interest in the fight to where UFC will see Cormier-Manuwa as a safer bet than a Jones fight. Jones’s work in the cage by far warrants the next title shot, but his out-of-the-cage decisions make him risky to go with as a headline act.
THURSDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Anthony Johnson’s attorney has officially filed an appeal regarding Daniel Cormier’s controversial weigh-in last Friday. The appeal asks for Cormier to testify under oath before the New York State Athletic Commission and for him to be fined 20 percent of his purse and stripped of the UFC Light-Heavyweight Championship.
-Conor McGregor may be facing legal action after he posted a photo to his Instagram account showing himself standing on top of what is a rented Rolls Royce.
-Leandro Higo missed weight this morning ahead of his Bellator bantamweight championship fight against Eduardo Dantas. Higo will be fined 20 percent of his purse and the bout will move ahead tomorrow at Bellator 177 as a non-title fight. (SOURCE)
Watch Demetrious Johnson plow through Henry Cejudo before he attempts to tie Anderson Silva’s consecutive title defense record this weekend: LINK
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST 4/12: Dana White reveals he’s been in constant contact with Ronda Rousey (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)