The UFC returns to London this Saturday, March 18. In the main event, talented light heavyweights Jimi Manuwa and Corey Anderson meet to decide who will get a shot at an elite fighter in a division that badly needs new blood.
To be clear, this isn’t an especially compelling main event. Neither Anderson nor Manuwa has much of a profile, and the stakes here aren’t obvious or high. With that said, it should be a fun fight between two intriguing competitors.
Manuwa has been climbing the ranks due to his heavy hands while Anderson has slowly been grinding his way through the opposition.
The rest of the event features plenty of European content, as one would expect from a card in the U.K., with the likes of Gunner Nelson, Brad Pickett and Marc Diakiese on the card.
Jimi Manuwa (-150) is a lethal striker who combines his natural power with wonderful technical prowess. ‘Poster Boy’ has ended 14 of his 16 professional victories via knockout – nine of them in the first round. One of the things that makes his striking so deadly is his fight IQ. Manuwa knows when to flurry, he knows when to lay off and he knows when to go to the body instead of headhunting.
Aside from striking, Manuwa isn’t anything to write home about. His clinch game is pretty solid with a preference to work from a double-collar and land big knees and uppercuts. Against, his defensive wrestling is serviceable but he is in over his head once his back touches the mat. Get all the latest Betting and Sport News updates on your social media outlets. Find us on both Facebook and Google+!
Corey Anderson (+120) has grown quite a bit since winning TUF season 19. The biggest progression has come in the striking game, as time spent under boxing coach Mark Henry has done him wonders. ‘Overtime’ still isn’t the best striker but he understands how to use his reach, does a great job at moving and has developed the ability to punch his way into the clinch.
Anderson’s true base is his wrestling. The DIII wrestler is extremely heavy when he gets top control and will rain down strikes. His hands aren’t exceptionally powerful, so he is unlikely to finish an opponent by knockout in this position but he can score and grind away.
All in all this is a tale of opposites. Manuwa is the powerful puncher who wants to knock his opponent’s head off while Anderson is more of a meticulous grinder who chips away at the opposition. Manuwa is 37 and has 18 pro fights under his belt while Anderson is still green with the 27-year-old only competing in 11 pro fights. You want to give the edge to Anderson for his wrestling, but people wanted to do the same thing when Manuwa faced Ovince Saint Preux.
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