Jimi Manuwa is only interested in one thing right now and it’s not former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Following a stunning first round knockout over Corey Anderson in the main event at UFC Fight Night in London, Manuwa called for the winner of the upcoming matchup between Daniel Cormier and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, which goes down on April 8 in Buffalo.
Manuwa made it clear that he’s gunning for gold, but when Jones name came up because he’s due back from suspension in July, the conversation took a dramatic turn.
“I’m not interested in Jon Jones. Jon Jones takes steroids and he’s been banned for steroids,” Manuwa said at the post fight press conference. “Before, I was a big fan of Jon Jones, the things he’s done in the Octagon and everything but he’s been suspended for a year or something and he’s had issues before.
“He’s a great fighter and great respect for him, but he’s been done for steroids and that taints everything that he’s done. So I’m not really interested. When he comes back, I’ll fight him no problem but I’m focused on the belt right now and that’s going to be the winner out of DC and “Rumble” Johnson.”
Jones was suspended for a year after testing positive for two different anti-estrogen drugs ahead of his last scheduled bout against Cormier at UFC 200 last year. Jones will be eligible to fight again as early as July 6, 2017, but it sounds like Manuwa isn’t interested in facing him in his return.
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Instead, Manuwa prefers to jump the line and face the winner of the UFC 210 main event later this year.
“I believe my next fight will be for the title and I can’t wait,” Manuwa said. “I’ve trained so hard over the years and especially after my last fight, I went straight back into training camp and I really haven’t had any rest since my last fight. So it was great to finally get a clean knockout.
“Like I said, one shot, one kill. Me and “Rumble” Johnson are two of the hardest hitters in the division, if he comes through DC [Daniel Cormer], that would make for a spectacular fight.”
Manuwa actually suffered one of his only two career losses to Johnson back in 2015 so he would undoubtedly like the chance to avenge that defeat with the title on the line.
As far as Cormier goes, Manuwa would be just as happy to take that fight if the current light heavyweight champion comes away victorious in April.
“I see me and DC having a spectacular fight as well. He’s a great champion,” Manuwa said. “Let’s see what happens with them two and we’ll see where we go from there.”