Ryan Jimmo faces a big challenge this weekend in undefeated Jimi Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 30 in England. Manuwa is a knockout artist who has registered 12 KOs in his 13 career wins. 10 of his stoppages have come in the very first round. Manuwa is 2-0 in his UFC tenure with TKO victories over Kyle Kingsbury and Cyrille Diabete.
The Diabete victory came because of a calf injury suffered by his opponent, so it denied “Poster Boy” of an explosive finish. Manuwa will be looking to add Jimmo to his growing list of victims.
Jimmo is 2-1 during his UFC stint. He made his Octagon debut against Anthony Perosh at UFC 149 and delivered in electrifying fashion with a seven-second KO. However, it’s been mixed results since then. He lost a decision to hard-hitting James Te Huna in a fight where Jimmo had his opponent hurt in the opening round thanks to a head kick.
Te Huna recovered and controlled the next two rounds to win the fight. After that loss, Jimmo rebounded with a decision victory over Igor Pokrajac at UFC 161.
Unfortunately, the Jimmo who fought Pokrajac turned back into a safety-first fighter and that has been one of the knocks against him. Despite a solid 18-2 win-loss record, Jimmo has been involved in a number of fights where he has utilized his strength and grappling skills to carve out rather dull decision victories.
Manuwa is used to people falling over when he hits them and Jimmo has only been stopped once by strikes in his career. While he doesn’t have the terrific knockout ratio of Manuwa, Jimmo does have seven career KOs to his credit.
This light heavyweight battle will be interesting to watch. You know what you are going to get from Manuwa. He’s a straightforward fighter who utilizes his boxing and Muay Thai skills in looking to destroy his opponent. Amazingly, he has never been to a third round in his career.
For Jimmo, he would be best suited to survive the expected early attack and find a way to drag the bout into deep waters, where he can utilize his clinch work and grappling skills. Jimmo is used to going the distance and in fact has a couple of five-round fights under his belt dating back to his days in the Maximum Fighting Championship promotion.
Does Jimmo decide to impress by engaging in a fan-friendly slugfest against a proven knockout specialist, or will he again resort to his grinding ways? As we’ve seen in the UFC lately, it’s not necessarily whether you win or lose, its how you entertain.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports