Jimi Manuwa has finished all 13 of his opponents, 10 of them in the first round. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
The spotless resume of Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa speaks for itself: 13 wins, 13 finishes.
Manuwa will put his unblemished record on the line when he confronts former Maximum Fighting Championship titleholder Ryan Jimmo in a 205-pound showcase at UFC Fight Night 30 “Machida vs. Munoz” on Saturday at the Phones 4U Arena in Manchester, England.
The undefeated Manuwa last competed at UFC on Fuel TV 7 in January, when he was awarded a technical knockout over Cyrille Diabate after the French kickboxer exited their matchup with a leg injury. It went in the books as the 10th first-round stoppage for the “Poster Boy,” who rose to prominence as an Ultimate Challenge MMA champion in his native England. In Jimmo, Manuwa sees an opponent likely to oblige him with the kind of standup encounter he desires.
“Jimmo is a strong, experienced fighter, and I look forward to fighting him,” he said in a pre-fight interview with UFC.com. “I will make it an exciting one, as usual, and will be looking for the stoppage, as always.”
Jimmo last fought at UFC 161 in June, when he captured a unanimous decision against Igor Pokrajac at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Between April 20, 2007 and July 21, 2012, the 31-year-old Canadian karateka pieced together a streak of 17 consecutive wins, capped by a seven-second knockout against Anthony Perosh in his promotional debut at UFC 149. The twice-beaten Jimmo has gone the distance 11 times as a professional, a pair of five-round championship fights among them, and believes such experience could prove invaluable against Manuwa -- a foe who has yet to see the third round.
“I think he’s athletic and he’s had success thus far in his career,” Jimmo said. “He’s facing a different kind of fighter in myself than he has in the past.”
Ross Pearson can sense the danger ahead of him.
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 winner will confront the gifted but enigmatic Melvin Guillard in a featured lightweight affair at UFC Fight Night 30, as he seeks his first three-fight winning streak since 2010. Pearson will enter the cage on the strength of back-to-back one-sided victories over Ryan Couture and George Sotiropoulos. However, neither of those men could a candle to the physicality Guillard brings to the table.
“Fighting Melvin is like playing with fireworks,” Pearson said in a pre-fight interview with UFC.com. “If you don’t stick to the rules, you’re going to get hurt.”
Guillard last appeared at UFC on Fox 8 in July, when he delivered a violent knockout against “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 6 winner Mac Danzig at Key Arena in Seattle. The 30-year-old New Orleans native climbed into title contention at 155 pounds after wins over Evan Dunham and Shane Roller in 2011, but losses in four of his next five outings quieted such talk.
Blessed with blinding hand speed and devastating punching power, Guillard has secured more than half (20) of his 31 career victories by knockout or technical knockout.
“I think he is very dangerous and explosive,” Pearson said, “but if I stick to my game plan, I beat him everywhere.”
This & That
UFC Fight Night 30 will mark the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s 250th event and the 13th to be held in England ... Reign MMA middleweight Mark Munoz has yet to lose on foreign soil, as he has won all three of his bouts outside the United States, defeating Kendall Grove in the United Arab Emirates, Demian Maia in Canada and Chris Leben in England ... former Jungle Fight champion John Lineker has gone on a 16-1 tear since starting his career a mediocre 6-5 ... “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 15 alum Jon Tuck has finished six opponents inside the first round, including an eight-second knockout against Eduard Folayang in November 2009 ... American Top Team’s Alessio Sakara has not posted a victory since he stopped James Irvin on first-round strikes at UFC Live 1 nearly four years ago ... Former Cage Warriors Fighting Championship titleholder Rosi Sexton has competed in seven different countries during her 16-fight mixed martial arts career: England, Wales, Russia, the United States, Costa Rica, Canada and Ireland ... When Jim Hettes was born on June 9, 1987, the top five songs on Billboard’s “Hot 100” list were Atlantic Starr’s “Always,” Kim Wilde’s “You Keep Me Hangin On,” Lisa Lisa’s “Head to Toe,” Genesis’ “In Too Deep” and Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” ... Despite growing up in kickboxing-crazed Holland, Michael Kuiper holds the rank of black belt in judo ... Poland’s Piotr Hallmann owns a 10-0 mark at 155 pounds ... “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 quarterfinalist Luke Barnett wields the longest reach of any fighter on the UFC 166 roster, his 77 inches measuring one inch longer than opponent Andrew Craig.