(Manuwa speaks to promoter Dave O’Donnell following his last title defence.)
On August 7th, Jimi ‘Poster Boy’ Manuwa (8-0) will aim to defend his UCMMA light-heavyweight title for the fourth time, as he takes on fellow unbeaten fighter Valentino Petrescu (8-0) in a battle many are arguing could determine the premier combatant in the UK in their division.
“I’m really excited for my next fight,” beamed Manuwa, who recently starred in the first episode of the current season of ‘Cage Fighter’. “I’m calling it ‘Fight of the Year’ because it’s going to be a war. I haven’t stopped training, and I’m bringing in the best training partners to spar. It’s going to be a great fight.”
Indeed, the Londoner is fully aware of the threat his foe will pose to him when they step into the cage, but is still confident he will walk out the victor.
“His strengths are his striking and BJJ, which are also my strengths,” analysed Jimi. “I remember seeing him fight Pierre Guillet before I even started thinking of fighting, and I remember thinking, ‘wow’. Now the fight is on. He’s a great fighter, and I respect his skills but I just know I’ll be too much for him. He will go down when I touch him. If it goes to the floor I’ll be too strong.”
The 205-pounder reckons that his training has gone well, and is sure all his hard work will pay off on fight night.
“Preparations are going well,” declared the ‘Poster Boy.’ “I haven’t stopped training and I’m turning it up now. I’m sparring the best UK K-1 heavyweight fighters, the best BJJ trainers and I’m going to do a couple of weeks at a secret camp for wrestling and boxing. I will be unstoppable and so strong. My state of mind will be that of the alpha male lion.”
In his last outing, Manuwa defeated late replacement (for Petrescu) Reza Mahdavian, prevailing after just 3:19 of the first session. Jimi was more than content with his most recent win.
“Im very happy with how the fight went,” he asserted. ” It went according to plan. Hit and don’t get hit was the plan, and it worked nicely. We didn’t know much about him which is never good, but I have faith in myself and my great team of coaches.”
“I was happy to get my third title defence, even though it was a late replacement,” continued Jimi. “A fight is a fight though, and anything can happen with 4oz gloves. I originally had a fight in March with Mike Edwards lined up, but he pulled out at the last minute. Then we arranged the Petrescu fight for May, but he pulled out so I got a bit frustrated. Reza stepped in and I finally got to fight.”
Supposing he manages to defend his title against Valentino on August 7th, there is one name in particular on the domestic scene that Manuwa would like to fight, although he’s happy to leave the choice regarding his next move to the team behind him.
“After the fight I’ll leave it up to my management to sort out what’s next,” stated Jimi. “There’s only maybe one fight that interests me and that’s Przemyslaw ‘Misiek’ Mysiala, the number one. The lion will be king.”
Can Manuwa progress on August 7th; staking his claim to being the premier Light Heavyweight in the country? The only way to find out will be when he takes on Petruscu on August 7th.
Visit www.ucmma.com for ticket details.