UFC Fight Night 127 in London will feature a co-main event between light heavyweight contenders, Jimi Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz. Manuwa is the fourth ranked contender in the division while Blachowicz comes in at number 11. Manuwa will surely campaign for a title shot if he secures a win while Blachowicz will rocket himself into contention.
Jimi Manuwa is coming off a loss to Volkan Oezdemir and Blachowicz is on a two fight winning streak. Both men are experienced in the division and no stranger to the spectacular finish. Five rounds between these two monsters will likely be an all-out war. Jimi Manuwa earned the victory in the first matchup between these two fighters in 2015 in a three round unanimous decision.
Jimi Manuwa: Knockout sensation
British striker, Jimi Manuwa (17-3) is one of the most exciting fighters in the light heavyweight division. Only one of his 20 fights went to a decision and 15 of his 17 wins came by knockout. When Manuwa is in the octagon, a quick fight can be expected. In fact, his only bout that made it past the second round was the first fight with Blachowicz. The three losses on Manuwa’s record are respectable losses to Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson, and Volkan Oezdemir. All three of those losses were vicious knockouts, highlighting Manuwa’s “kill or be killed” mentality.
Obviously the best chance for Jimi Manuwa in this fight is to keep it on the feet and lure Blachowicz into a boxing match. Manuwa has never been submitted in his career but Blachowicz will still likely have the edge on the ground. Jimi Manuwa has knocked out the likes of Ovince Saint Preux and Corey Anderson so surely he is capable of putting anyone in the division to sleep. Blachowicz has a great chin so Manuwa will have to land a bomb on him to get a stoppage.
Jan Blachowicz: Charging back to contention
There was a point, just under a year ago, when it looked like Jan Blachowicz (21-7) had run his course in the UFC. He lost four of five fights from 2015 to 2017 and dropped out of relevance in the division. Thankfully, Blachowicz got right back to work and earned a submission victory over Devin Clark in October 2017 and a unanimous decision win over Jared Cannonier just two months later. He finally earned his ranking back and now has a second chance at Jimi Manuwa.
Manuwa will not be able to finish Balchowicz easily. Jan Blachowicz was the only man to go the distance with Manuwa and each of his last four losses went the distance. Blachowicz will likely look to rely on his ground game in this one and will be successful if he can get the fight to the mat. He is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu compared to the purple belt of Manuwa. The vicious ground and pound and top control of Blachowicz has been seen in recent fights but Manuwa is no picnic to take down. Blachowicz will need to be patient and turn this into a grinder’s match. He can not get careless shooting for takedowns or the expert striker, Manuwa will hit him on the way in. Blachowicz will get a win if he can drag Manuwa into deep waters.
Jimi Manuwa was dominant in the first meeting between these fighters so it is hard to bet against him. Jan Blachowicz has really improved since then however and has been much better at securing takedowns. Manuwa will win this fight if he can keep it on the feet like he did the first time around. He touched Blachowicz up with his boxing and was the superior standup fighter. Jimi Manuwa will be extra dangerous in the first round and will look for openings to throw his deadly left hook.
Jan Blachowicz needs to control this match from the top. This is a different Jan Blachowicz than the one we saw in the first fight and also a different Jimi Manuwa. Manuwa has been knocked out twice since then, proving that he is not invincible. Blachowicz has been far better lately at imposing his will and tiring out his opponents with his large frame. Do not be surprised if this one ends late in the third round with Blachowicz on top of an exhausted Jimi Manuwa.
Blachowicz by TKO
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