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Jimi Manuwa Says He’s Glad He Turned Down the UFC Until He Was Ready

February 12, 2013 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas

Jimi Manuwa recently spoke with MMAjunkie about turning down the UFC until he felt he was ready for them, his upcoming fight at UFC on FUEL TV 7 and more. Check out the highlights:

On passing on a chance to join the UFC two previous times: “I’ve gained a lot of experience in training and upped my game in areas I wanted to up my game. I think I’ve definitely become a better fighter, as well, since then. I think it did me good to turn them down and have a couple more fights and gain some experience.”

On his win at UFC on FUEL TV 5: “I was really excited to get a win over a tough opponent like Kyle Kingsbury, just to get the first fight out of the way and look forward to the next fight and get all the jitters out. I wouldn’t say I had a lot of jitters. To be honest, it was just another fight for me. But in the back of my mind, I thought it’s my first UFC fight and I had to make a statement. I’m happy the fight went the way it did.”

On training for his UFC on FUEL TV 7 fight: “I was working some southpaws and a couple of tall guys. And my pad men have been holding my pads a bit higher, as well. So I’ve gotten used to punching higher and things like that. We’ve worked on normal stuff for a southpaw, and normal stuff for a guy taller than me. As a striker, it’s always a little concern because you’re not fighting a normal, orthodox striker. So things have been a little bit different. He’s got a strong left hand, and I can’t be walking into that. We’ve just been tweaking a few things.”

On his plans for a finish: “I’m always thinking knockout – 100 percent. Any combination I put together is always for a knockout or a stoppage. But in the Kyle Kingsbury fight, I learned how to pace myself. A knockout doesn’t always come.”

On an eventual title shot: “That’s what I’m here for. I’m not here to be a statistic or just another fighter. I’m working toward a title shot and being the best light heavyweight in the world. That’s what I wake up in the morning for – to be the best in the world. That’s my long-term goal in the UFC.”

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Jeremy Thomas

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