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Jimi Manuwa: Daniel Cormier win is my ‘best chance’ at getting UFC title shot

Jimi Manuwa understands that a win for Jon Jones will open up a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson.

UFC 210 photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Fans have been campaigning for a rematch between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson ever since their epic main event at UFC 165 on Sept. 21, 2013.

With UFC 214 looming this weekend, many believe that regardless of a win or a loss for Jones, Gustafsson will likely be his next opponent following his much-anticipated second showdown with Daniel Cormier.

Even Jimi Manuwa, who takes on Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 214, knows that he has a far better chance of getting the next light heavyweight title shot if Cormier has his hand raised on Saturday night.

“Cormier winning is the best chance at me getting a title shot,” Manuwa told

“When you look at Jon and Alex, they had such an amazing fight. People have been dying to see them get back in there. We’ll have to see what happens. I’m going to get mine either way.”

Manuwa and Cormier have not been very complimentary of each other in the lead up to the Anaheim event.

On a recent episode of The MMA Hour, Cormier suggested that he passed up the opportunity to fight Manuwa, opting instead for Jones, because the Englishman “has no chance” against him. Manuwa has since fired back calling Cormier, “a f**king fat wrestler”.

Cormier might not agree with him, but Manuwa considers himself to be one of the best fighters in the world at the moment.

“All people do is talk. Everyone has a mouth. Everyone can say what they want,” Manuwa said.

“The fact is, Daniel Cormier hasn’t fought me. I haven’t fought Cormier or Jones. Yeah, I fought Gustafsson, but that was three or four years ago when I wasn’t anything even close to the fighter than I am today.

“We train together now and my level has improved so much because of that. I believe I’m one of the top fighters in the world,” Manuwa continued.

“Hearing Daniel Cormier saying that means nothing to me.”

Manuwa made it clear that he has more respect for Jones than Cormier.

“I do have a greater opinion of Jones than I have of Cormier. I’m looking at this from a fighting perspective, not from a moral perspective,” Manuwa said.

“To me, the value in this game is being the better fighter. And I really believe that Jon Jones is a better fighter than Cormier. He’s beat him already before.

“Cormier does seem like a bully to me. With the things he says, he definitely comes across that way.”

Oezdemir has impressed thus far with his two successful outings with UFC. Although Oezdemir doesn’t have the same championship credentials as Cormier heading into their fight, the 37-year-old Manuwa is completely focused on the challenge that the surging Swiss light heavyweight brings to the table.

“He hasn’t been in the UFC that long. He’s won a decision against OSP and he got the knockout over Cirkunov quickly after that, so I think he’s trying to carry on with his momentum from his last fight,” Manuwa explained.

“To me, a fight is a fight. I respect every fighter. Going into the Octagon, anything can happen. You can make a mistake or be out of place for a second and then your night’s over.

“I respect every fighter, regardless of what their name is because I respect the game. To me, I’ll beat this guy and then I’ll go for my title shot. That’s all I’m concentrating on.”

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