Jimi Manuwa earned himself a unanimous decision victory against Jan Blachowicz in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 64 yesterday, but he adopted a surprisingly cautious strategy for a man who’d previously finished all 14 of his career wins inside the distance.
As it turns out the British fighter had good reason to abandon his usual all-action gameplan however as he’d seriously damaged his knee in the weeks leading up to the fight.
“I had a bad knee injury,” Manuawa confessed in the aftermath of the fight. “I tore my meniscus, and MCL and ACL as well. They told me I shouldn’t fight, and I said no, I’ve got to fight. I can’t pull out of the fight. So you know, it was a big decision for me and the team, but we had to go through with it.”
It was a risky decision given that he was going up against a fighter in Blachowicz who was unbeaten in six fights, had only lost once in the last eight years, and would be enjoying the home advantage, but it paid off for Manuwa who’s now hoping that he’ll still be able to fight again this year.
“I’m going to get the injury sorted out straight after this,” Manuwa told reporters. “And then depending on the recovery time, I want to fight another two times this year, top-10 opponents.”
Given the extent of the damage to his knee that sounds a little ambitious. Surgery is likely now and if so that’ll mean a lengthy spell of rehab is on the cards for the 35 year-old who’s currently ranked No.9 at light-heavyweight.