Jimi Manuwa has said he is targeting a return in June after suffering a groin injury, and he believes breakout contender Johnny Walker could give Jon Jones a challenge at light heavyweight.
Manuwa (17-5) has been sidelined since his knockout loss to Thiago Santos in December of last year. For the first time in his career, the 39-year-old is riding three consecutive losses, dropping fights to Jan Blachowicz and Volkan Oezdemir before his most recent fight.
Talking to MMA Fighting and other media at the UFC London event this past weekend, Manuwa discussed his plans to return to the Octagon.
“I’ve been injured since my last fight,” Manuwa said. “I think I am aiming to return at the June card in Sweden. There are loads of new contenders at light heavyweight so I am good to go.
“[Dominick] Reyes is good, Johnny Walker as well, there’s a couple more. I think Walker (could challenge Jones) he’s tall as well. I think with the top ten or fifteen at light heavyweight, anyone can beat anyone for me.
Manuwa also gave his take on the upcoming fight between Anthony Smith and Alexander Gustafsson, which takes place on the June card in Stockholm, Sweden that the Brit is hoping to fight on. “Poster Boy” also agreed that he thinks Gustafsson is the best fighter at light heavyweight apart from Jones.
“That is an interesting fight,” Manuwa said. “But again, I think (like Jones) Gustafsson has got too much for him and he should show that in the fight.”