Jimi Manuwa has been petitioning for a title shot ever since his first-round knockout of Corey Anderson at UFC Fight Night 107 in London last March.
Although the title shot didn’t come – Manuwa faces Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 214 this Saturday – the English light heavyweight has not laid down any lofty ultimatums about his championship credentials in the lead up to his crucial bout in California.
Instead, Manuwa is looking at different avenues he can take if his former opponent and current All Stars teammate, Alexander Gustafsson, is given a title shot ahead of him.
Following his stoppage of Anderson, Manuwa called out former cruiserweight and heavyweight boxing world champion, David Haye.
Some scoffed at Manuwa’s hopes of getting a fight with Haye, but the 37-year-old believes a fight with the former boxing champion is a realistic option if he is passed up for a title shot again.
“I know the title shot is coming. It doesn’t matter whether I get it now, the end of the year or sometime after that. I know it’s coming so I just need my next win,” Manuwa told MMAFighting.com.
“I know there are bigger things to come after this fight, whether it’s the title shot or the fight with David Haye. As I said, there are a lot of options and they are big options.
“I’ve just got to get Volkan out of the way and then I can look forward to big things.”
Manuwa claims he has already talked about his potential boxing date against Haye with UFC president Dana White, but it seems as though the fight coming to fruition is dependent on what happens on Saturday night.
“A boxing match with David Haye is still a big option for me. And I’d be looking to take his head off in London.
“We’re going to know much more after this fight. I really believe that if I dispatch Oezdemir it will be a title shot or the David Haye fight, so we’ll have to see what happens.
“That’s why I met with Dana. I was meant to have the title shot after my last fight, but Jon Jones said he was coming back. I can’t argue with that, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier is a massive fight.
“All I know is that a big fight will be coming after my next fight.”
Manuwa stressed that being open to different avenues is the best way to approach the fight game.
“I’ve got options so I’m easy. Like Conor (McGregor) says, options are a beautiful thing. I can go up and down in weight and I could do boxing,” he explained.
“I spoke to Dana White before my last fight and we really have some great options at the moment. That’s why I’m not too bothered. I’d be happy for Gustafsson if he gets another title shot.”