Anthony Johnson Vs. Jimi Manuwa. Why?
What is the idea behind this match-up?
Anthony Johnson looked amazing in his last three victories, overcoming the high-level wrestling of Phil Davis and destroying Rogerio Nogueira and Alexander Gustafsson – all top level Light-Heavyweights, and then looked very good against Daniel Cormier, knocking him down in the first round before succumbing to his overall superior game. I think everybody is very interested in seeing him face some other top light-heavyweight at this point.
Jimi Manuwa has looked pretty good up until a few fights ago, but he hasn’t looked devastatingly good. He then lost to Gustafsson, and won a boring decision against top-20 (at the time) Blachowicz. What has he done to deserve such a highly ranked opponent as Johnson? And this is not the first time: Manuwa got Gustafsson when Gustafsson was the top contender slated to rematch Jon Jones after their close fight. It was a very strange match-up then, even though he was undefeated at the time, and it’s a stranger match-up now, after his last two unimpressive performances.
What will the MMA world gain from this fight? If Johnson would win, as he is expected to, everything would remain the same as it is now. Johnson would remain the number one contender; Manuwa would remain where he is ranked, and nothing would change. I suppose this could be a tune-up fight for Johnson for another shot at Daniel Cormier, but do we really want to see that rematch so quickly? Cormier beat him pretty definitively, and they both have many other top level opponents they haven’t faced, so why make this rematch now? This couldn’t be a tune-up fight for Johnson to face Jon Jones, because when ‘Bones’ returns he would obviously rematch Cormier for the undisputed title.
Posted on September 2, 2015 by Ked Becker