Daniel Cormier might be the current UFC light heavyweight champion and one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, but Jimi Manuwa sees him as a 'fat wrestler' with a one-dimensional fighting style.
Manuwa, 37, has had an issue with 'DC' ever since the former Olympian called him out after submitting the now-retired Anthony 'Rumble' Johnson at UFC 210. "Sit down, young man," Cormier told Manuwa, who was ringside for UFC 210's main event.
Cormier defended his light heavyweight title for the second time at Buffalo New York's KeyBank Center, but 'Poster Boy' wasn't impressed with his performance. In fact, Manuwa thinks he has what it takes to KO the current champ in the first two rounds.
“I didn’t see anything that was like, ‘wow,’ or anything,” Manuwa told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour (h/t Danny Segura of MMA Fighting). “He’s just a fat wrestler, that’s it. He can't stand with me, you know what I mean? All he’s got is his wrestling, and all he's going to try and do is take me down if I fight him. That’s it. He’s very good at it, but that’s all he’s got. If we fight, all I would have to work on is takedown defense, and I’ll knock him out within two rounds.”
Manuwa, who is on a two-fight KO streak against Ovince Saint Preux and Corey Anderson, is slated to fight Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 214 but is also on standby as a replacement for Cormier or Jon Jones, who are set to lock horns in the main event.
Jones, who beat Cormier in 2015, was expected to rematch his rival at UFC 200 but was pulled from the event at the last minute due to a failed drug test for anti-estrogen agents.
Manuwa is training hard in all facets of MMA and is prepared to take on Oezdemir, Cormier or Jones on July 29.
“If Jones pulls out or DC pulls out, I’m going to main event and save the card,” Manuwa said. “I’m preparing for a fight. I’m preparing stand-up, wrestling, judo, everything; I’m just prepared to fight. It doesn't matter who I'm fighting, whether it’s Daniel Cormier, Jones or Volkan, I’m prepared to fight. I'm doing my runs, I’m doing my cardio, I’m doing my striking, I’m doing my wresting and everything in order to win the fight.
“If it’s DC, I just have to do a little bit of more wrestling. If it’s Jones, I’ll do some wrestling and a little bit more striking. If it’s Volkan, I have to do a little bit more striking and takedown defense and sharpen up everything. So that’s what were doing, sharpening up everything and getting ready for victory.”
Speaking of the championship rematch between Cormier and Jones, Manuwa thinks 'Bones', the former number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world, beats Cormier again with relative ease.
“I think Jones beats him again. I don't mind who I fight, both are great fighters, but I think Jones got his number. I don’t think there’s nothing Daniel can do on Jones. I think if he [Cormier] takes him down, he can’t keep him down, and he can’t beat him in the striking department. So I don't think he’s got anything for Jones, I think Jones beats him in the title fight on July 29th.”
UFC 214, which features both Cormier vs. Jones II and Manuwa vs. Oezdemir, takes place next month, July 29, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.