Manuwa Said UFC Persuaded Him To Take Santos Fight
With Glover Teixeira out of the UFC Sao Paulo main event against Thiago Santos, Jimi Manuwa stepped in, but it had to take some convincing by UFC in order to get the light heavyweight fighter on the card.
Manuwa is moving down in weight to middleweight to face Santos in the main event fight on September 28 and at first, this was a reason why he didn’t want to take the fight.
“I didn’t see any incentive in taking the fight because it was coming from a middleweight,” Manuwa said. “I wanted a good name, so I wasn’t really interested in fighting, but then the UFC persuaded me to take the fight. I had a little think about it, and Thiago Santos is a good fighter, so I accepted the fight.”
Manuwa is a top 10 light heavyweight in the UFC rankings and moving down for one fight wouldn’t directly lead him one step closer to a shot at the title, currently being held by Daniel Cormier. Despite this, the UFC explained the potential benefits of winning a main event fight in Brazil against a ranked fighter in the middleweight division. Manuwa added that he’s not underestimating Santos regardless of his weight class.
“Every fighter in the UFC is good, I don’t underrate any fighter. I’m training very hard,” Manuwa said. “I see he’s a good fighter, was a big middleweight, so coming up to light heavyweight shouldn’t be a problem for him. I look forward to the challenge. I always look forward to the challenge.”
“Sometimes you want to step up and … not do favors, but you’ve gotta tell me incentives to take the fight. They explained to me, I had a talk with my coaches and my team and we accepted the fight.”
Original Story: MMA Fighting