|Born||N'Jimi M'Bouba Tuluki Manuwa
18 February 1980
|Other names||Poster Boy|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)|
|Reach||79.5 in (202 cm)|
|Style||Muay Thai, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Fighting out of||London, England|
|Team||Lions Pride MMA
Nova Forca Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
N'Jimi M'Bouba Tuluki Manuwa (born 18 February 1980 in Sacramento, California) is a Nigerian-British 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.
|This section relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (March 2014)|
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."
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.
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."
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."
Mixed martial arts career
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 was yet to have a fight go to a Judges decision in his MMA Career up until his defeat to Alexander Gustafsson on 8 March.
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. 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..."
He successfully defend his title for the 5th time at UCMMA 24: Hands of War against Nick Chapman.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
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. 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.
Manuwa returned to face Ryan Jimmo on 26 October 2013 at UFC Fight Night 30. 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.
Manuwa faced former title challenger Alexander Gustafsson in the main event at UFC Fight Night 37 on 8 March 2014 in London. 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.
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. He is a supporter of West Ham United. In 2014, Manuwa showed off his tattoos for PETA's anti-fur "Ink Not Mink" ad campaign.
Championships and accomplishments
- Ultimate Challenge MMA
- UCMMA Light Heavyweight Championship (One time; first)
- Five successful title defenses
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|15 matches||14 wins||1 loss|
|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 (leg injury)||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 (punches)||FX3 9||13 September 2008||1||3:10||Reading, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||1–0||Tom King||TKO (punches)||FCFN 8||26 July 2008||1||4:25||Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom|
- UFC Fighter Rankings
- "Manuwa explains UFC offer". thefightlounge.co.uk. 2011-09-19.
- "BAMMA Signs Top British Light Heavyweight Fighter". mmaweekly.com. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
- "Manuwa Draws Kingsbury At UFC On Fuel 5". YourMMA.tv. 21 July 2012.
- 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.
- Ariel Helwani (2013-08-09). "Jimi Manuwa vs. Ryan Jimmo targeted for UFC's return to England". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- Steven Marrocco. "UFC Fight Night 30 results: Ryan Jimmo injury results in TKO loss to Jimi Manuwa". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
- Staff. "Jimi Manuwa meets Alexander Gustafsson when UFC returns to London in March". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
- John Morgan (2014-03-08). "UFC Fight Night 37 bonuses: Alexander Gustafsson earns dual awards". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-03-08.
- Carlton Cole has West Ham fight club goal
- "Jimi 'Poster Boy' Manuwa in PETA's Ink Not Mink Campaign," FameMagazine.co.uk, 10 March 2014.