Jimi Manuwa was just as confused as everybody else when he was set for a rematch against Jan Blachowicz at UFC Fight Night in London this weekend.
Now it’s not to say that Manuwa is looking past Blachowicz but the fact is he already holds a dominant win over the Polish light heavyweight in 2015. Meanwhile, Manuwa was gunning for a showdown with former title contender Glover Teixeira after they’ve danced around a fight against each other for more than a year already.
Unfortunately, Teixeira seemingly had no interest in the fight and so Manuwa ended up with Blachowicz instead.
“I wanted to fight a top five guy. I wanted the No. 3 guy Glover Teixeira,” Manuwa told MMAWeekly. “I said let me fight Glover, they said Glover doesn’t want to fight. I said let me fight “Shogun” [Rua], they said “Shogun” doesn’t want to fight. I said who else is available in the top 10? They said no one was available to fight in the whole top 10. I said who’s available to fight in the whole light heavyweight division? Only Jan Blachowicz said yes so I said give me Jan Blachowicz.
“That’s the reason we’re fighting.”
Manuwa doesn’t mince words when it comes to his frustration with Teixeira after trying to land that fight several times in recent years.
“I can’t put my finger on it. I can’t understand it. I don’t want to say they’re scared because I don’t know what it is,” Manuwa said. “If they are scared, I’d be shocked because I was once a fan of these people. “Shogun” is a legend, I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He can do what he wants. I’ll leave “Shogun” alone.
“Teixeira, I don’t understand it. I don’t want to say he’s scared but what else can it be? I don’t understand it.”
As far as the rematch with Blachowicz goes, Manuwa isn’t disappointed by the fight nor is he looking at this as just an easy win in front of a home crowd this weekend.
In fact, Manuwa sees plenty of ways to improve on his last performance against Blachowicz while also looking to get back on track following a loss in his most recent fight.
“At the end of the day I’ve got to solidify my position as the No. 4 ranked fighter in the world,” Manuwa said. “I don’t lack motivation. I have motivation to win. He’s the only fighter that I’ve gone the distance with so I plan to rectify that and get another knockout.”