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Jimi Manuwa issues statement on injury, UFC Sao Paulo withdrawal

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UFC 191 Media Day
Jimi Manuwa
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jimi Manuwa is as disappointed as anyone that he won’t be headlining in Brazil this weekend.

The 38-year-old light heavyweight contender was supposed to be fighting Thiago Santos in the main event of UFC Sao Paulo on Saturday, but an injury forced him to withdraw (he has since been replaced by Eryk Anders).

Manuwa took to Instagram on Tuesday to address the circumstances of his withdrawal and thank the fans for their support:

“I’m truly gutted,” Manuwa wrote. “The day after I landed in Brazil I went for my last hard training session. During that session of sprints I tore my hamstring, and after getting it assessed in hospital, doctors diagnosed it as a severe tear greater than 50 percent. They told me it will be a minimum of six weeks recovery time.”

He added that he had to miss his daughter’s 10th birthday to prepare for UFC Sao Paulo, where he was originally scheduled to face Glover Teixeira before an injury causedTeixeira to be replaced by Santos. As for when he will be able to compete again, Manuwa did not mention a potential timetable for his return.

Manuwa (17-4) last fought in March, dropping a unanimous decision in a thrilling rematch with Jan Blachowicz. He is 3-3 in his last six fights dating back to April 2015, a stretch that includes knockout wins over Corey Anderson and Ovince Saint Preux.

“I want to thank everyone of you for the love and support you have sent my way,” Manuwa wrote. “Without all of you none of this is possible. I can’t wait to come back and put on a show for you all. Lions eat first.”