UFC light heavyweight prospect Jimi Manuwa is getting a big boost in competition for his next fight as he will face top contender Alexander Gustafsson in London. The two fighters will headline the UFC’s March 8 trip to the O2 Arena. British MMA reporter Gareth A. Davies first reported the surprise matchup.
Manuwa will be replacing an injured Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on the UFC card after being medically cleared himself. Manuwa was facing a six month layoff due to an injured hand in his UFC Fight Night 30 bout with Ryan Jimmo but a negative MRI allayed those fears earlier this week.
“Posterboy” has won all fourteen of his professional fights, including his three UFC appearances. While UFC president Dana White initially sought to have Manuwa fight stateside in his next bout, the injury to Nogueira superseded that that desire.
The fight card, likely to be named UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa, will take place March 8 at the O2 Arena in London, England. Gustafsson will have everything to lose in the fight as will see him back in a UFC light heavyweight title fight with the winner of champion Jon Jones taking on Glover Teixeira. The UFC London card will air via FOX Sports 1 or FOX Sports 2 in the states, and will also feature a lightweight rematch between Melvin Guillard and Ross Pearson.