Last month, when Jimi Manuwa knocked out Corey Anderson in London, he made what many viewed as a strange callout in his post-fight interview - boxer David Haye. Many MMA fighters have been trying to piggyback on the hype of a potential Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather fight, and this just seemed like another example of that.
Well, that might not be the case.
Haye, who is recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon right now, stated a month ago that he had already been in contact with the UFC in regards to the bout. Now, Manuwa says that things have progressed even further - he’s spoken to Dana White about it, and White is on board with the earning potential of the fight (via BJ Penn Radio):
“I spoke to David Haye today. I spoke to him last week when I was in Vegas with Dana, and Dana liked the numbers - what can be generated through this event. We’re planning on making it happen. David Haye is out and about walking, he’s back walking now after his injury. We’re doing everything we can to make it happen.”
Could it take place on the vaunted Mayweather-McGregor card that hasn’t been finalized yet? It seems like it wouldn’t, since the bout makes more sense in the UK anyway:
“Possibly,” he said. “But we’re big enough to do our own card as well in London. It depends when the Conor – Floyd fight happens. If it’s in September I think that would be too early for David Haye. I think he’ll be ready November or December. So a September card would be too early for him. We’ll see what happens. We’ve got options.”
Manuwa (17-2, 6-2 UFC) could possibly have a UFC light heavyweight title shot lined up for July as well, depending on what Jon Jones wants to do. So he does indeed have options.