Jimi Manuwa sent a huge statement to the light heavyweight division with a jaw-dropping knockout to finish Corey Anderson in the first round of their main event fight from London.
Manuwa stepped into the Octagon off another eye-opening knockout against former title contender Ovince Saint Preux in his last fight, but the London native had something to prove after he says several opponents turned down the chance to face him.
As much as Manuwa appreciated Anderson’s willingness to step into enemy territory to face him, the 37-year-old knockout artist had to make an example of him.
It took just over three minutes into the opening round for Manuwa to prove his point.
As the fight got underway, Manuwa immediately took to the center of the Octagon while plodding forward and cutting off space so Anderson didn’t have much room to work.
While Anderson is best known for his wrestling and grappling skills, the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner had to stay in constant motion to avoid Manuwa’s ultra powerful strikes, which never allowed him to plant his feet for a takedown.
Manuwa did an outstanding job cutting the cage off while forcing Anderson to move around the cage before finally opening up with his arsenal of strikes.
The first big shot clipped Anderson’s chin and put him down on one knee, but he quickly bounced back to his feet. The die was cast, however, that Manuwa didn’t even need to load up on his punches to do a lot of damage if his punches landed.
Anderson found that out the hard way a moment later when Manuwa charged at him with a monstrous left hand that didn’t seem to land with full force, but clearly did maximum damage.
As Manuwa’s punch connected, Anderson’s head snapped to the side before he fell motionless to the canvas as the latest victim to the London native’s knockout power. The stoppage came at 3:05 in the first round.
“Left hook’s always the shot,” Manuwa said about his knockout punch. “One shot, one kill.”
— UFC (@ufc) March 18, 2017