If ever there was a fighter for me to talk about from a live perspective, it’s Jimi "Poster Boy" Manuwa.
I’ve been cageside to cover 10 of Jimi Manuwa’s last 11 fights and, simply put, the man is a terrifying striker and a devastating knockout artist.
His last two outings have seen him hit the sort of form that has him knocking on the door of the championship picture. If Jon Jones was still suspended, Daniel Cormier would almost certainly have been facing Manuwa this weekend. In fact, he was even offered that fight, but opted instead to try to settle the score with Jon Jones. We’ll talk more about that matchup later this week…
A glance at those two Manuwa wins - both devastating knockouts, both against fighters many expected to take him down and dominate him - showed a fighter who not only has the sort of fight-ending power to put away anyone in the world, but also the takedown defense to prevent wary opponents from dragging the fight to the mat.
Check out some highlights from Manuwa's knockout-laden career in this promo for his most recent bout, against Corey Anderson, earlier this year.
On Saturday night, Manuwa takes on Swiss contender Volkan Oezdemir, who shocked the MMA world with impressive underdog victories over Ovince St-Preux and Misha Cirkunov in the first quarter of this year.
Ten of Oezdemir’s 14 career wins have come by KO/TKO, which suggests he can certainly bang, but when you look at his fight with St-Preux compared with Manuwa’s outing against the same man, we see that they are levels apart when it comes to striking prowess.
While Oezdemir went the distance and edged a split decision, Manuwa starched ‘OSP’ last October with one of the most crushing KO finishes of the year.
Put simply, Manuwa is an animal, and I'm picking the 'Poster Boy' to posterize Oezdemir with another highlight-reel finish.
Bet the under, and bet the KO.
PICK: Manuwa by KO