Jimi Manuwa kicked off his UFC debut in pretty impressive fashion, via the UFC On Fuel TV 5 card in Nottingham, England. The first two minutes or so of the first round were dominated by Kyle Kingsbury. He secured a good takedown and was working tirelessly to keep the advantage and get a finish. Problem is, Jimi wasn't going for it. The UK based wrecking ball had no intentions of doing anything but laying a brutal beating down, and that's exactly what he did.
The tide quickly changed at the halfway mark of the first round. The amount of punishment Kingsbury took was insane. I have to give the guy props, he has a ton of heart and cajones of steel. I winced and cringed with each blow that landed, the whole while keeping tabs on an eye that was ballooning up, and becoming a serious hindrance to his vision. Honestly, I don't know why the referee didn't stop it sooner.
The second round featured much of the same punishment from Manuwa, but Kyle had managed to secure another takedown, and seemed to regain his balance and focus. Alas, that eye was, by now, swollen shut, so when the bell rang to end the round, the ringside physician was called in to examine him. Kyle bravely, albeit probably not wisely, tried to convince the doctor to allow him to get back in there for the third, but mercifully, the fight was ended. Jimi had won, and rightfully so.
Kingsbury later tweeted out that he had sustained multiple fractures in his face, confirmed by a post fight MRI:
The image is a sobering reminder of what can happen in the cage, especially if you're known for having "heart". I can't help but appreciate that kind of resolve to move forward at all costs. Who knows, maybe if Mickey Goldmill had been in his corner, we might've had a different ending. In any event, here's to hoping Kingsbury heals up soon.