Jimi Manuwa Says He's Glad He Turned Down the UFC Until He Was Ready
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 02.12.2013
He's a better fighter now...
Jimi Manuwa recently spoke with MMAjunkie about turning down the UFC until he felt he was ready for them, his upcoming fight at UFC on FUEL TV 7 and more. Check out the highlights:
On passing on a chance to join the UFC two previous times: "I've gained a lot of experience in training and upped my game in areas I wanted to up my game. I think I've definitely become a better fighter, as well, since then. I think it did me good to turn them down and have a couple more fights and gain some experience."
On his win at UFC on FUEL TV 5: "I was really excited to get a win over a tough opponent like Kyle Kingsbury, just to get the first fight out of the way and look forward to the next fight and get all the jitters out. I wouldn't say I had a lot of jitters. To be honest, it was just another fight for me. But in the back of my mind, I thought it's my first UFC fight and I had to make a statement. I'm happy the fight went the way it did."
On training for his UFC on FUEL TV 7 fight: "I was working some southpaws and a couple of tall guys. And my pad men have been holding my pads a bit higher, as well. So I've gotten used to punching higher and things like that. We've worked on normal stuff for a southpaw, and normal stuff for a guy taller than me. As a striker, it's always a little concern because you're not fighting a normal, orthodox striker. So things have been a little bit different. He's got a strong left hand, and I can't be walking into that. We've just been tweaking a few things."
On his plans for a finish: "I'm always thinking knockout – 100 percent. Any combination I put together is always for a knockout or a stoppage. But in the Kyle Kingsbury fight, I learned how to pace myself. A knockout doesn't always come."
On an eventual title shot: "That's what I'm here for. I'm not here to be a statistic or just another fighter. I'm working toward a title shot and being the best light heavyweight in the world. That's what I wake up in the morning for – to be the best in the world. That's my long-term goal in the UFC."