The co-main event of the evening will see top-ranked UFC light heavyweights Jimi Manuwa and Jan Blachowicz trade blows inside the cage. Manuwa hasn’t competed since being viciously knocked out by Volkan Oezdemir in just 42 seconds this past July at UFC 214. It ended his two-fight knockout streak that featured wins over Corey Anderson and Ovince Saint Preux.
Blachowicz is on a two-fight win streak since suffering his last loss in April of last year. He has since submitted Devin Clark and won a unanimous decision over Jared Cannonier. With 205-pound champ Daniel Cormier taking a temporary break from his division to challenge for the heavyweight title, now is the perfect time for the top-ranked light heavyweights to make a name for themselves. Here’s how Manuwa and Blachowicz’s fight went down:
A high kick just misses for Manuwa to start the fight off. Blachowicz tries to faint his way inside and has a few jabs blocked. Manuwa finally lands a high kick but eats one of his own from Blachowicz. Some nice leg kicks from Manuwa now and he follows up with a kick to the boy. Blachowicz catches Manuwa and rocks him, knocking him down, and just missing on a standing rear-naked choke.
They’re striking again and Blachowicz seems to have cooled off a bit. Another blitz from Blachowicz and Manuwa is in trouble. He has Manuwa pinned against the cage, who is bloodied around the face. They separate and Manuwa comes forward looking for a jab. Blachowicz lands a nice counter strike to end the round.
Blachowicz starts off with a leg kick and also gets one to the body as well. A nice hook to the head from Blachowicz and Manuwa lands some nice body shots that sparks a small scramble that ends quickly. A right hand lands for Manuwa now and he comes forward with a left right after. Manuwa then gets caught as Blachowicz puts together a nice combination. Manuwa with a nice hook now and Blachowicz is in on a takedown.
They exchange knees before Blachowicz tries to quickly take the back, but Manuwa’s blood saves him as he slips away. Manuwa now landing some nice shots but Blachowicz clinches up again against the cage. Manuwa comes forward now and is landing some shots. Jab lands for Manuwa and a head kick lands for him afterwards. Now he’s pressing forward on him but Blachowicz shoots in and pins Manuwa against the cage to end the round.
Body kick lands for Blachowicz and Manuwa continues to walk him down with a leg kick. Now they’re exchanging some stiff strikes with one another. A beautiful counterstrike from Blachowicz lands but Manuwa continues to walk forward. A jab lands for Blachowicz and Manuwa comes forward to land a head kick. Another hook lands for Blachowicz but Manuwa isn’t letting up. An uppercut and hook combination lands for Blachowicz, and he adds on a body kick. Blachowicz comes in on a hard takedown and gets it, as he lands right into Manuwa’s full guard. The round ends with Blachowicz landing a shot to the body on the ground.
Official Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jimi Manuwa via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)