Jimi Manuwa began training in MMA in 2007 at the age of 27 years old. Despite beginning Martial Arts at a young age, Manuwa has been extremely successful in MMA, being able to become the number two ranked Light Heavyweight in the UFC in May of 2017. Manuwa has been one of the pioneers of UKMMA and is still looked up to by many.
Being born in California, moving to Nigeria in 1983, and eventually arriving in London, England at the age of ten years old. Manuwa got in trouble as a youth and was convicted of conspiracy to burgle in 2002. After being released in 2003, and beginning MMA in 2007, Manuwa has gone onto have a successful career in the sport.
Manuwa’s first fight was in 2008, where he would win via ground and pound stoppage in the first round. Manuwa would make a habit of finishing a fight early with a 97% finish rate in his career. Manuwa would go 11-0 with 10 TKO/KO finishes and 1 submission before making the move to the UFC.
Manuwa’s first fight in the UFC octagon would come in 2012 at UFC on Fuel TV 5, Manuwa would win via doctor’s stoppage in between the second and third round. Manuwa would continue this streak until he faced Championship contender, Alexander Gustafsson. In this fight, Gustafsson would knee Manuwa in the second round which wobbled the Londoner. Follow up strikes subsequently finished the fight.
Manuwa would bounce back against Jan Blachowicz where it would be the first time Manuwa would go to a decision in his career. After this fight, Manuwa would lose to Anthony Johnson by TKO. Manuwa would fight again thirteen months later against Ovince St. Preux where he would win by second-round TKO. This would propel Manuwa through the Light Heavyweight rankings and be sat at fifth-ranked in October of 2016.
Manuwa’s last win was at UFC Fight Night 107, where he knocked out Corey Anderson in the first round. However, since then Manuwa has gone on a four-fight losing streak with three of the fights coming by KO/TKO. Manuwa retired after his loss at UFC Stockholm but still remains a legend to UKMMA.
Coming from a troubled background and turning his life around, Manuwa has motivated many to do the same. Manuwa is a pioneer in the development of MMA in the UK. With a record of 17-6 Manuwa’s MMA career was very successful in the UFC and has motivated many fighters from around the world to follow in his footsteps.