Jimi Manuwa

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Jimi Manuwa
Born N'Jimi M'Bouba Tuluki Manuwa
(1980-02-18) 18 February 1980 (age 34)
Other names Poster Boy
Nationality Nigerian
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)
Division Light Heavyweight
Reach 79.5 in (202 cm)
Fighting out of London, England
Team Allstars Training Center[1]
Lions Pride MMA
Keddles Gym
Nova Forca Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Years active 2008-present
Mixed martial arts record
Total 15
Wins 14
By knockout 13
By submission 1
Losses 1
By knockout 1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

N'Jimi M'Bouba Tuluki Manuwa (born 18 February 1980 in Sacramento, California[2]) is a Nigerian-English mixed martial artist, who competes in the light heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As of 25 February 2014, he is #11 in official UFC light heavyweight rankings.[3]

Early life[edit]

Manuwa led a troubled existence in his earlier years, as his youth was spent being expelled from school for indecent exposure, getting into vicious fights so many times he was barred from Croydon nightclubs and being imprisoned for his role in a burglary ring. But the 34-year-old now insists he is a reformed character and is keen to get wayward youngsters off the street and into his MMA classes, where they can "learn discipline and release energy". Jimi, who moved to England from Nigeria when he was two, says he has been frustrated and angry ever since he was young. He told the Advertiser: "You have a lot of energy and anger but you don't know why and I think there are a lot of kids like that. The people I hung around with were the same. They just wanted money and to have stuff but rather than work you just wanted it fast. I used to burgle from commercial properties, taking computers and stuff. I got into fights whenever I went out and I was banned from Croydon nightclubs. I feel bad for putting my family through that."[4]

Jimi was imprisoned in 2002 for conspiracy to burgle and released in 2003. On his exit from prison, Jimi saw his best friend cage fighting and decided he wanted to start training.[4]

After winning his first few fights, 6 ft and 205 lb Jimi soon built up a reputation as a fierce competitor in cage fighting, winning a series of competitions. He now wants to train youngsters in the sport, which demands participants practice mixed martial arts and battle it out in the ring. He said: "People might think it's violent but it's a sport, like boxing. You get to release energy and take your frustration out and it takes a lot of discipline. I think kids will be able to relate to me as I've come from the same place they have. When I speak to them they listen."[4]

Jimi says he has been inspired to give young people something he was lacking when they were his age. He added: "If I'd been given this chance when I was younger I know I would have taken it, because I think a lot of young people don't know what they want to do. It gives them something to aim for."[4]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Manuwa began training in mixed martial arts in 2007 following a weight lifting injury where he ruptured a chest muscle while bench pressing 185 kg (407+ lbs). He currently trains at Keddles Gym with Alan Keddle and Dino Miringou and at Nova Forca BJJ with Ricardo Da Silva.


Manuwa fought for the UCMMA name since his third fight, becoming the promotion's champion in his third fight under them. He has successfully defended his title 5 times, more than any other champion in the company, past or present.

During this time period, Manuwa famously turned down a contract offer from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, feeling it wasn't the right time in his career to accept it. He did state that reaching the UFC was his "ultimate goal" in the future.[5] He was then offered to fight at the UFC 138 event, but also refused that one, citing that he hasn't competed since summer of 2010, and that "If he fought on the October card that would have been after a fifteen month layoff, which is not ideal under any circumstances. You do need to be fighting regularly to stay sharp..."[6]

He successfully defend his title for the 5th time at UCMMA 24: Hands of War against Nick Chapman.[7]


After defending his title a record 5th time, Manuwa signed a four-fight exclusive contract with BAMMA. He made his debut at BAMMA 8.[8] He faced Frenchman Antony Rea and won the fight via TKO.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

After turning down a UFC contract a few years ago, Manuwa signed with the promotion in July 2012.

Manuwa made his UFC debut against TUF 8 contestant Kyle Kingsbury at UFC on Fuel TV 5, winning after 2 rounds by TKO due to doctor stoppage.[9] The stoppage was declared after Kingsbury's left eye had swollen shut.

For his second fight with the promotion, Manuwa faced Cyrille Diabaté on 16 February 2013 at UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. McDonald. Manuwa was declared the winner (TKO) after Diabaté was unable to continue after tearing a calf muscle near the end of the first round.[10]

Manuwa returned to face Ryan Jimmo on 26 October 2013 at UFC Fight Night 30.[11] For the second time in a row, Manuwa's opponent injured his leg during the fight and this resulted in a TKO victory for Manuwa.[12]

Manuwa faced former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson in the main event at UFC Fight Night 37 on 8 March 2014 in London.[13] He lost the fight via TKO in the second round, resulting in the first loss of his professional career. Despite the defeat, Manuwa earned his first Fight of the Night bonus for the fight.[14]

Manuwa was expected to face Maurício Rua at UFC Fight Night 56 on 8 November 2014 in Brazil.[15] However, on October 29, it was announced that Manuwa had pulled out of the fight due to an injury, and that Ovince St. Preux would replace him against Rua.[16]

Personal life[edit]

MTV UK are currently doing a documentary on MMA in the UK, with Manuwa, Jack Marshman and Cory Tait being filmed in the build-ups of their next fights and the training and lifestyles involved.[17] He is a supporter of West Ham United.[18] In 2014, Manuwa showed off his tattoos for PETA's anti-fur "Ink Not Mink" ad campaign.[19]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 14–1 Alexander Gustafsson TKO (knee & punches) UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa 8 March 2014 2 1:18 London, England, United Kingdom Fight of the Night.
Win 14–0 Ryan Jimmo TKO (leg injury) UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz 26 October 2013 2 4:41 Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Win 13–0 Cyrille Diabaté TKO (retirement) UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. McDonald 16 February 2013 1 5:00 London, England, United Kingdom
Win 12–0 Kyle Kingsbury TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic 29 September 2012 2 5:00 Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
Win 11–0 Antony Rea TKO (retirement) BAMMA 8 10 December 2011 1 5:00 Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
Win 10–0 Nick Chapman TKO (knees) UCMMA 24 22 October 2011 1 2:14 London, England, United Kingdom Defended the UCMMA Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 9–0 Valentino Petrescu KO (punch) UCMMA 14 7 August 2010 1 3:08 London, England, United Kingdom Defended the UCMMA Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 8–0 Reza Meldavian TKO (punches) UCMMA 12 8 May 2010 1 3:19 London, England, United Kingdom Defended the UCMMA Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 7–0 Shaun Lomas TKO (punches) UCMMA 9 5 December 2009 1 3:58 London, England, United Kingdom Defended the UCMMA Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 6–0 Luke Blythe KO (punch) UCMMA 6 22 August 2009 2 4:22 London, England, United Kingdom Defended the UCMMA Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 5–0 Ryan Robinson TKO (punches) UCMMA 4 9 May 2009 1 2:03 London, England, United Kingdom Won the UCMMA Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 4–0 Jamie Hearn Submission (guillotine choke) UCMMA 2 7 February 2009 1 1:49 London, England, United Kingdom
Win 3–0 Chris Greig TKO (punches) UCMMA 1 6 December 2008 2 1:35 London, England, United Kingdom
Win 2-0 Dave Rintoul TKO (punch) FX3 9 13 September 2008 1 3:10 Reading, England, United Kingdom [20]
Win 1–0 Tom King TKO (punches) FCFN 8 26 July 2008 1 4:25 Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom


  1. ^ http://mmajunkie.com/2014/10/jimi-manuwa-once-idolized-shogun-but-now-he-wants-to-beat-him-up
  2. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwcsqOMqzOw#t=145
  3. ^ UFC Fighter Rankings
  4. ^ a b c d http://www.thisiscroydontoday.co.uk/cage-fighting-helped-turn-life/story-11372229-detail/story.html
  5. ^ "Manuwa explains UFC offer". thefightlounge.co.uk. 2011-09-19. 
  6. ^ http://www.fightersonlymagazine.co.uk/news/viewarticle.php?id=7387
  7. ^ http://addictedmma.com/story-Cards_4364_UCMMA-24-Hands-Of-War.php
  8. ^ "BAMMA Signs Top British Light Heavyweight Fighter". mmaweekly.com. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  9. ^ "Manuwa Draws Kingsbury At UFC On Fuel 5". YourMMA.tv. 21 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Mike Bohn (2013-02-17). "Cyrille Diabate suffers torn right calf muscle in UFC on FUEL TV 7 defeat to Jimi Manuwa". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2013-02-17. 
  11. ^ Ariel Helwani (2013-08-09). "Jimi Manuwa vs. Ryan Jimmo targeted for UFC's return to England". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09. 
  12. ^ Steven Marrocco. "UFC Fight Night 30 results: Ryan Jimmo injury results in TKO loss to Jimi Manuwa". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-10-26. 
  13. ^ Staff. "Jimi Manuwa meets Alexander Gustafsson when UFC returns to London in March". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  14. ^ John Morgan (2014-03-08). "UFC Fight Night 37 bonuses: Alexander Gustafsson earns dual awards". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  15. ^ Thomas Myers (2014-09-03). "Shogun Rua vs Jimi Manuwa fight targeted for UFC Fight Night 56 in Brazil". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2014-09-03. 
  16. ^ Staff (2014-10-29). "Jimi Manuwa out at UFC Fight Night 56, Ovince Saint Preux now meets 'Shogun' Rua". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-10-29. 
  17. ^ http://www.mtv.co.uk/music/urban/3570-mtv-the-wrap-up-presents-mma
  18. ^ Carlton Cole has West Ham fight club goal
  19. ^ "Jimi 'Poster Boy' Manuwa in PETA's Ink Not Mink Campaign," FameMagazine.co.uk, 10 March 2014.
  20. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BT57cPB_8mA

External links[edit]