Jimi Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz are set to have a second fight inside the Octagon at UFC Fight Night London this March.
The light heavyweight has been receiving a lot of criticism for fighting Blachowicz again, but Manuwa says no blame rests on his shoulders.
“There has been a lot of criticism, but it’s no fault of mine,” Manuwa told MMA Fighting. “Everyone knows that I like to fight the best. I’ve never been scared and I’ve always looked to test myself. I fought some of the best fighters in the world when I wasn’t even ranked. Ever since I’ve been in the top 10, the top five have all been dodging and playing the safe game. No one wants to test themselves anymore. They’re all trying to be smart and pick their spots. It’s frustrating.”
Manuwa has spoken out before against other competitors unwilling to fight him, specifically naming Glover Teixeira and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio Rua.
Speaking of Teixeira, one thing Manuwa wished the Brazilian would have done was to face him instead of cherry picking fights.
“The right choice for Glover to cement his place is a fight with me. He’s No. 3 and I’m No. 4. It’s the right fight to make. Surely he can see that. I really don’t know where his head is at. The only thing that makes sense is that he doesn’t want to fight me or he doesn’t want to risk the loss. This is the second time he has turned me down for a fight so I really can’t put my finger on it, but he’s either scared or he’s playing it safe. That excuse that I’m coming off a loss holds no weight. He’s not even next in line for the title shot. He’s cherry picking fights. The last time I offered to fight him at UFC 208. He turned it down and ended up fighting Jared Cannonier. It is what it is. I’ve got to keep fighting and I continue to aim for the belt,” says Manuwa.
UFC Fight Night London takes place on Saturday, March 17 from the 02 Arena in London, England with no main event announced at this time. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, while broadcasting plans have yet to be announced.