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Daniel Cormier on potential Jimi Manuwa fight: ‘I would demoralize him’

UFC 210 photos
Daniel Cormier jaws at Jimi Manuwa from the cage.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Daniel Cormier’s dance card is filling up quickly.

After successfully defending his UFC light heavyweight title by submitting Anthony Johnson in the second round at UFC 210 on Saturday, Cormier began jawing at Jimi Manuwa who was sitting cageside for the performance. When Joe Rogan asked Cormier what he was saying to Manuwa, the champ said he was telling Manuwa to quit his quest for a title shot.

“I told Jimi to stop pretending he wants to fight me,” Cormier said. “He don’t want none of this. He knows. You can’t beat me, Jimi. Jimi, could come in here with your bare knuckle and punch me. I would eat that. You can’t beat me, Jimi. You know it. Don’t lie to yourself. I like Corey Anderson but you just beat Corey Anderson. Sit down, young man. Sit down.”

Manuwa is currently the fourth-ranked light heavyweight in the UFC (though he will move up to third place with the retirement of Johnson) and is coming off an impressive first-round knockout out of seventh-ranked Corey Anderson. After the win, Manuwa called for a title shot against the winner of Cormier-Johnson, saying his catchphrase: “One shot, one kill.”

Now that Cormier’s retained his title, he doesn’t think much of Manuwa’s chances. At the post-fight press conference, Cormier scoffed at the idea of Manuwa giving him any sort of a challenge.

“He’s a tough guy. He punches hard. I like his little thing, ‘One shot, one kill,’” Cormier said. “It sounds cool. He wears sweatsuits. A guy that wears sweatsuits is pretty cool. But Jimi Manuwa can’t do me anything. Dude’s done. Jimi Manuwa would be lucky to get out 10 minutes. Seven minutes. I would demoralize him.”

Of course, the other option for Cormier would be the long-awaited rematch with former champion Jon Jones. Jones is currently serving a USADA suspension but he is eligible to fight again come July. The UFC has still not said how they intend to handle the often problematic Jones upon his return but Cormier says if Jones wants the fight, that will likely take precedence.

“Of course I’d fight Jon Jones but Jimi Manuwa said that he wants a title fight,” Cormier said. “He’s won a couple of fights in a row and looked impressive. I think he’s a good fighter but it kinda depends on what they do with Jones. If Jones wants to fight somebody first then I guess that’s what they’re gonna do. If he’s ready to come and fight me then we would fight.”

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