Jimi Manuwa

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Jimi Manuwa
Jimi Manuwa.jpg
Manuwa in 2014
BornBabajimi Abiola Manuwa
(1980-02-18) 18 February 1980 (age 39)
Sacramento, California, United States[1]
Other namesPoster Boy
ResidenceLondon, England, United Kingdom
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[2]
Weight205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st)
DivisionLight heavyweight
Reach79 12 in (202 cm)[3]
StyleBoxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Fighting out ofLondon, England, United Kingdom
TeamAllstars Training Center[4]
Lions Pride MMA
Keddles Gym
Nova Força UK
RankPurple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo da Silva[5]
Years active2008–present (MMA)
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout15
By submission1
By decision1
By knockout4
By decision1
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Babajimi Abiola "Jimi" Manuwa (born 18 February 1980)[6] is an English mixed martial artist who competes in the light heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As of May 1, 2019, he is #11 in official UFC light heavyweight rankings.[7]

Early life[edit]

Manuwa was born in California and lived there until three, when his father moved the family back to Nigeria.[8] He moved to London, England at ten. He got in trouble as a teen and did not finish school. After being convicted of conspiracy to burgle, he was sent to prison in 2002 and got out in 2003.[9]

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. He currently trains at Keddles Gym with Alan Keddle and Dino Miringou and at Nova Força BJJ with Ricardo da Silva.


Manuwa began fighting for UCMMA name in only his third professional fight, becoming the promotion's champion in his third fight under them. He 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.[10] He was then offered to fight at the UFC 138 event, but also refused that one, citing that he hadn'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..."[11]

He successfully defended his title for the fifth time at UCMMA 24: Hands of War, against Nick Chapman.[12]


After defending his title a record 5th time, Manuwa signed a four fight, exclusive contract with BAMMA. He made his debut at BAMMA 8.[13] He faced Frenchman Antony Rea and won the fight via TKO.

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

Having turning down a UFC contract a few years previously, 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.[14] 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.[15]

Manuwa returned to face Ryan Jimmo on 26 October 2013 at UFC Fight Night 30.[16] 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.[17]

Manuwa faced Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Fight Night 37 on 8 March 2014.[18] He lost the fight via TKO in the second round.[19][20] Both participants were awarded a Fight of the Night bonus for the fight.[21]

Manuwa was expected to face Maurício Rua at UFC Fight Night 56 on 8 November 2014 in Brazil.[22] However, on 29 October, 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.[23]

After over a year away from the sport, Manuwa returned to face Jan Błachowicz on 11 April 2015 at UFC Fight Night 64.[24] Manuwa won the fight via unanimous decision, going the distance for the first and only time in his MMA career.[25]

Manuwa faced Anthony Johnson on 5 September 2015 at UFC 191.[26] He lost the fight via knockout early in the second round.[27]

Manuwa was briefly linked to a matchup with Nikita Krylov on 27 February 2016 at UFC Fight Night 84.[28] However, Manuwa was scratched from the contest with an undisclosed injury in late December, causing the bout to be cancelled.[29]

Manuwa faced Ovince Saint Preux on 8 October 2016 at UFC 204.[30] He won the fight via knockout in the second round and was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.[31][32]

Manuwa was briefly linked to a bout with Glover Teixeira at UFC 208.[33] However, the pairing was scrapped and Manuwa eventually faced Corey Anderson on 18 March 2017 in the main event at UFC Fight Night 107.[34] Manuwa won the fight via knockout in the first round, after briefly dropping Anderson with a jab and then finishing him with a single left hook.[35] He was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.[36]

Manuwa faced Volkan Oezdemir on 29 July 2017 at UFC 214. He lost the fight by knockout in the first round.[37]

Manuwa faced Jan Błachowicz in a rematch on 17 March 2018 at UFC Fight Night 127.[38] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.[39] Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night for their performance.[40]

Manuwa was expected to face Glover Teixeira on 22 September 2018 at UFC Fight Night 137.[41] However, Glover Teixeira pulled out this bout after suffering an injury.[42] He was replaced by Thiago Santos.[43] In turn, Manuwa was removed from the fight during the week leading up to the event due to a torn hamstring and replaced by Eryk Anders.[44]

Manuwa faced Thiago Santos on December 8, 2018 at UFC 231.[45] He lost the fight via knockout in round two.[46]

Manuwa is expected to face Aleksandar Rakić on 1 June 2019 at UFC Fight Night 153.[47]

Personal life[edit]

Manuwa's parents are British citizens of Yoruba descent. He was born in California and spent his early years in Nigeria before settling in London at the age of 10. MTV UK did a documentary on MMA in the UK, with Manuwa, Jack Marshman and Cory Tait being filmed in the build-ups of their fights and the training and lifestyles involved.[48]

In 2014, Manuwa showed off his tattoos for PETA's anti-fur "Ink Not Mink" ad campaign.[49] Jimi was imprisoned for his role in a burglary ring in 2002. He was released in 2003.[50]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 17–5 Thiago Santos KO (punch) UFC 231 8 December 2018 2 0:41 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Loss 17–4 Jan Błachowicz Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov 17 March 2018 3 5:00 London, England Fight of the Night.
Loss 17–3 Volkan Oezdemir KO (punches) UFC 214 29 July 2017 1 0:42 Anaheim, California, United States
Win 17–2 Corey Anderson KO (punch) UFC Fight Night: Manuwa vs. Anderson 18 March 2017 1 3:05 London, England Performance of the Night.
Win 16–2 Ovince Saint Preux KO (punch) UFC 204 8 October 2016 2 2:38 Manchester, England Performance of the Night.
Loss 15–2 Anthony Johnson KO (punches) UFC 191 5 September 2015 2 0:28 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 15–1 Jan Błachowicz Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Gonzaga vs. Cro Cop 2 11 April 2015 3 5:00 Kraków, Poland
Loss 14–1 Alexander Gustafsson TKO (knee and punches) UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa 8 March 2014 2 1:18 London, England 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
Win 13–0 Cyrille Diabaté TKO (retirement) UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. McDonald 16 February 2013 1 5:00 London, England
Win 12–0 Kyle Kingsbury TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC on Fuel TV: Struve vs. Miocic 29 September 2012 2 5:00 Nottingham, England
Win 11–0 Antony Rea TKO (retirement) BAMMA 8 10 December 2011 1 5:00 Nottingham, England
Win 10–0 Nick Chapman TKO (knees) UCMMA 24: Hands of War 22 October 2011 1 2:14 London, England Defended the UCMMA Light heavyweight Championship.
Win 9–0 Valentino Petrescu KO (punch) UCMMA 14: Invincible 7 August 2010 1 3:08 London, England Defended the UCMMA Light heavyweight Championship.
Win 8–0 Reza Meldavian TKO (punches) UCMMA 12: Never Back Down 8 May 2010 1 3:19 London, England Defended the UCMMA Light heavyweight Championship.
Win 7–0 Shaun Lomas TKO (punches) UCMMA 9: Fighting for Heroes 5 December 2009 1 3:58 London, England Defended the UCMMA Light heavyweight Championship.
Win 6–0 Luke Blythe KO (punch) UCMMA 6: Payback 22 August 2009 2 4:22 London, England Defended the UCMMA Light heavyweight Championship.
Win 5–0 Ryan Robinson TKO (punches) UCMMA 4: Relentless 9 May 2009 1 2:03 London, England Won the UCMMA Light heavyweight Championship.
Win 4–0 Jamie Hearn Submission (guillotine choke) UCMMA 2: Unbreakable 7 February 2009 1 1:49 London, England
Win 3–0 Chris Greig TKO (punches) UCMMA 1: Unbreakable 6 December 2008 2 1:35 London, England
Win 2-0 Dave Rintoul TKO (punch) FX3 9 13 September 2008 1 3:10 Reading, England
Win 1–0 Tom King TKO (punches) FCFN 8 26 July 2008 1 4:25 Portsmouth, England


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Late Bloomer". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Fight Card - UFC 191 Johnson vs. Dodson 2". UFC.com. Archived from the original on 28 September 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Jimi Manuwa". tapology.com. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Jimi Manuwa, now training with Gustafsson, no longer idolizing 'Shogun' - MMAjunkie". MMAjunkie.
  5. ^ "Jimi Manuwa - Official UFC Fighter Profile". UFC.com. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  6. ^ "MIXED MARTIAL ARTS SHOW RESULTS" (PDF). Boxing.nv.gov. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
  7. ^ "Rankings | UFC". www.ufc.com. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  8. ^ https://www.skysports.com/more-sports/ufc/news/19828/10830019/ufc8217s-jimi-manuwa-on-his-childhood-in-africa-8216wrong-decisions-and-finding-sport-aged-28
  9. ^ https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1982729-jimi-manuwa-a-troubled-past-a-successful-present-and-a-limitless-future
  10. ^ "Manuwa explains UFC offer". thefightlounge.co.uk. 19 September 2011. Archived from the original on 25 September 2011.
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "UCMMA 24: Hands Of War - Addicted MMA - Mixed martial arts". 7 July 2012. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012.
  13. ^ "BAMMA Signs Top British Light heavyweight Fighter". mmaweekly.com. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  14. ^ "Manuwa Draws Kingsbury At UFC On Fuel 5". YourMMA.tv. 21 July 2012. Archived from the original on 16 August 2012.
  15. ^ Mike Bohn (17 February 2013). "Cyrille Diabate suffers torn right calf muscle in UFC on FUEL TV 7 defeat to Jimi Manuwa". mmamania.com. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  16. ^ Ariel Helwani (9 August 2013). "Jimi Manuwa vs. Ryan Jimmo targeted for UFC's return to England". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  17. ^ Steven Marrocco. "UFC Fight Night 30 results: Ryan Jimmo injury results in TKO loss to Jimi Manuwa". MMAjunkie.com. Archived from the original on 28 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  18. ^ Staff. "Jimi Manuwa meets Alexander Gustafsson when UFC returns to London in March". MMAjunkie.com. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  19. ^ "UFC Fight Night 37 results: Alexander Gustafsson finishes Jimi Manuwa, awaits title shot". mmajunkie.com. 8 March 2014.
  20. ^ "UFC Fight Night 37 results: Alexander Gustafsson knocks out Jimi Manuwa". mmamania.com. 8 March 2014.
  21. ^ John Morgan (8 March 2014). "UFC Fight Night 37 bonuses: Alexander Gustafsson earns dual awards". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  22. ^ Thomas Myers (3 September 2014). "Shogun Rua vs Jimi Manuwa fight targeted for UFC Fight Night 56 in Brazil". mmamania.com. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  23. ^ Staff (29 October 2014). "Jimi Manuwa out at UFC Fight Night 56, Ovince Saint Preux now meets 'Shogun' Rua". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  24. ^ Staff (23 January 2015). "UFC Fight Night 64 heads to Poland with Cro Cop-Gonzaga II, Blachowicz-Manuwa". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  25. ^ Ben Fowlkes (11 April 2015). "UFC Fight Night 64 results: Jimi Manuwa outstrikes Jan Blachowicz to take decision". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  26. ^ Damon Martin (30 July 2015). "Anthony Johnson now faces Jimi Manuwa at UFC 191 in Las Vegas". foxsports.com. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  27. ^ Steven Marrocco (5 September 2015). "UFC 191 results: Anthony Johnson drills Jimi Manuwa for second-round knockout". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
  28. ^ Guilherme Cruz (23 December 2015). "Jimi Manuwa vs. Nikita Krylov added to London's UFC Fight Night 83". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  29. ^ Tristen Critchfield (31 December 2015). "Jimi Manuwa injured; Bout vs. Nikita Krylov at UFC Fight Night London canceled". sherdog.com. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  30. ^ Ariel Helwani (3 August 2016). "Jimi Manuwa vs. Ovince Saint Preux targeted for UFC 204". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  31. ^ Damon Martin (8 October 2016). "Jimi Manuwa crushes Ovince Saint Preux with highlight-reel KO". foxsports.com. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
  32. ^ Tristen Critchfield (8 October 2016). "UFC 204 bonuses: Bisping, Henderson, Manuwa, Alcântara pocket $50K". sherdog.com. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  33. ^ Brett Okamoto (28 November 2016). "Glover Teixeira, Jimi Manuwa agree to UFC 208 fight". espn.com. Retrieved 28 November 2016.
  34. ^ Dave Doyle (7 January 2016). "Jimi Manuwa vs. Corey Anderson set for UFC Fight Night London card". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  35. ^ Damon Martin (18 March 2017). "Jimi Manuwa flattens Corey Anderson with vicious first-round knockout in main event". foxsports.com. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  36. ^ Tristen Critchfield (18 March 2017). "UFC Fight Night 107 bonuses: Manuwa, Nelson, Vera, Diakiese receive $50K checks". sherdog.com. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  37. ^ Lance Pugmire (31 May 2017). "Jimi Manuwa to take on Volkan Oezdemir at UFC 214 in Anaheim". latimes.com. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  38. ^ Dann Stupp (14 January 2018). "Jimi Manuwa vs. Jan Blachowicz rematch booked for UFC Fight Night 127 in London". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  39. ^ Andrew Pearson (17 March 2018). "UFC Fight Night 127 results: Jan Blachowicz avenges loss to Jimi Manuwa in slugfest". mmamania.com. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  40. ^ Dan Hiergesell (17 March 2018). "UFC Fight Night 127 bonuses: Alexander Volkov's main event knockout leads $50K winners". mmamania.com. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  41. ^ Staff (3 August 2018). "Glover Teixeira vs. Jimi Manuwa set to headline UFC Fight Night 137 in Sao Paulo". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  42. ^ "Injury knocks Glover Teixeira from UFC Fight Night 137 main event vs. Jimi Manuwa". MMAjunkie. 14 August 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
  43. ^ Clyde Aidoo (21 August 2018). "Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago Santos Official for Sao Paulo • MMA News". MMA News. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  44. ^ "Jimi Manuwa injured, Eryk Anders steps in to face Thiago Santos in UFC Sao Paulo headliner". themaclife.com. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  45. ^ "Jimi Manuwa vs. Thiago 'Marreta' Santos, Eryk Anders vs. Elias Theodorou added to UFC 231". MMAjunkie. 2 October 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  46. ^ Doyle, Dave (8 December 2018). "UFC 231 results: Thiago Santos knocks out Jimi Manuwa in second round". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 9 December 2018.
  47. ^ Tristen Critchfield (25 March 2019). "Jimi Manuwa vs. Aleksander Rakic added to UFC Stockholm". sherdog.com. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  48. ^ "Latest Music News, Charts, Playlists and Videos | MTV UK". Mtv.co.uk. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  49. ^ "Jimi 'Poster Boy' Manuwa in PETA's Ink Not Mink Campaign Archived 6 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine," FameMagazine.co.uk, 10 March 2014.
  50. ^ "Croydon Characters: Cage fighting helped Jimi Manuwa turn his life around". 7 February 2011. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  51. ^ Dan Tom (2 January 2019). "MMAjunkie's 2018 'Round of the Year:' Defense goes out the window in Toronto". mmajunkie.com.
  52. ^ "MMAjunkie's 'Fight of the Month' for December: A Brazilian and a Brit get into a brawl". mmajunkie.com. 3 January 2019.
  53. ^ Sherdog.com. "Jimi". Sherdog. Retrieved 2 October 2018.

External links[edit]