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Jimi Manuwa: ‘I truly believe I can stop DC in two rounds’

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Daniel Cormier underlined his dominance at the top of the UFC’s light heavyweight heap at UFC 220, but Jimi Manuwa still fancies his chances against the champion.

Commenting on Cormier’s successful night, the fighter nicknamed “Posterboy” was adamant that the former Olympic wrestler would not be able to take him down as he did against Volkan Oezdemir in Boston.

“DC won’t be able to take me down that easily,” Manuwa told Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour. “He won’t be able to do what he did to Volkan to me. I’ve got better wrestling defense and I’ve got better jiu-jitsu than Volkan.”

Manuwa believes that his All Stars teammate, Alexander Gustafsson, deserves the next shot at Cormier’s title, but revealed that he will be keeping himself ready for all eventualities.

Following Cormier setting a March 2019 date for his retirement — also announced on The MMA Hour — Manuwa claimed that he is targeting a fight with his rival this year.

The Brit hopes to get the ball rolling towards title contention when he meets Jan Blachowicz at UFC Fight Night 127 in London.

“One hundred percent this year,” he replied when asked if he thought he would fight Cormier before his proposed retirement from MMA.

“I truly believe that I can stop DC in two rounds; I truly believe that in myself. It’s just about getting there. I’m one, possibly two, fights away. That’s Blachowicz in March and then we’ll see what happens.”

Manuwa described why he thinks he matches up well against the champion:

“He’s a short, fat wrestler. He thinks he can bob; he thinks he can kick box and everything — he’s a short, fat wrestler and that’s it. I’ve got wrestling defense, I’ve got good jiu-jitsu, he will not be able to stand with me.

“I’m different to Volkan; my striking is different to all of these guys that he’s fought. I’m patient and I have devastating knockout power.”

He dates his ongoing feud with Cormier back to UFC 210, when Manuwa flew to Buffalo to try and set himself up as the next title contender.

“I don’t like the guy. Me and him have got past problems and stuff; past issues. I just don’t like the guy and he thinks he’s above himself. He thinks he better than everyone else. I just don’t like his aura.

“He’s a great fighter and a great champion, I can’t take that away from him, but I just don’t like his personality.

He continued: “I think it started in Buffalo. When he beat Rumble he started talking shit backstage and I went for him. Since then we’ve had big issues. I don’t like the guy, he’s a fat wrestler. A fat p***k as we say in London.”