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Jimi Manuwa ‘truly gutted’ after UFC Sao Paulo withdrawal

UFC light heavyweight contender Jimi Manuwa suffered a hamstring injury while doing sprints the day he arrived in Sao Paulo, Brazil ahead of a planned meeting against Thiago Santos.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Manuwa vs Blachowicz Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Jimi Manuwa’s most recent trip to Brazil didn’t end in the way he wanted it to.

The UFC light heavyweight contender suffered a hamstring injury in his last “hard” training session the same day he arrived in Sao Paulo, he wrote in a statement Monday on Instagram. Manuwa was scheduled to meet Thiago Santos in the UFC Sao Paulo main event on Saturday, but the injury forced him out of the contest six days before fight night.

“I’m truly gutted,” Manuwa wrote. ... “I’ll be working hard everyday to get back so I can continue to put on great fights for everyone to watch. I was 100% ready and looking forward to putting on a great show for the fans in Sao Paulo and around the world.”

Manuwa added that he suffered a “severe tear greater than 50 percent,” according to doctors. His window of recovery is expected to last a minimum of six weeks.

“I made a lot of sacrifices and even missed my daughter’s 10th birthday. I’m sorry Havana, I love you, Daddy is on his way home,” Manuwa wrote. “I want to thank everyone of you for the love and support you have sent my way. Without all of you none of this is possible. I can’t wait to come back and put on a show for you all.”

In Manuwa’s place, rising middleweight Eryk Anders stepped up on short notice to face “Marreta,” who is also moving up from 185 pounds.

UFC Sao Paulo takes place at Ibirapuera Gymnasium.