Name: Jimi Manuwa
Fight Name: Poster Boy
Weight Category: Light Heavy weight
Team: Nova Forca, Spartan, 187
Total Fights: 10
Pro MMA Record: 13-0-0
Weight: 93 kg (205lbs)
Country: United Kingdom
I got into MMA after one of my closest mates, Kym Farid, had been training for a couple of years. I took an immediate liking to it, but at the time was still heavily into weight training. I tried training with Kym, but was blowing after 2 minutes! The turning point came in December 2007.
I was at the gym going for my maximum bench press of 185kg, I got 2 reps up, but suddenly, my chest muscle ruptured on the last one, which was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. I was out for about 3 months, during which, I decided to go into MMA as I liked to fight, and anyway, weight training was getting boring!
I was back in the gym doing cardio stuff and started some classes with Joe Mac, who said I had natural talent for it and raw power. There was a problem…..I had only been training for a month when Kym asked, “how big are your balls?” I replied, “massive.” He followed up, “you got a fight in 2 weeks.” I said, “sweet.” My first fight was just a brawl with no skill at all, but I beat him in 3 minutes. I was blowing after the fight but was happy, and very aware just how much training I needed to do to perfect my game. Kym introduced me to Nova Forca after that to learn BJJ with Ricardo and team Nova Forca. I continue learn every session and get the best tuition from all the guys who help me a lot. I also train at Keddles gym with Alan keddle and Dino, where I learn so much from the team there and am still learning. I love sparring with Steve Molton where we push each other in training to the limit. Steve is a problem.
My second fight was at FX3 in September 08 which I really enjoyed. I beat Dave Rintal in the first. I was more happy with my skills standing and on the ground, it was a more professional performance. My third fight was at Ultimate Challenge UK on the 6th of December. People said I should not have taken a fight with Chris Greig as he was more experienced than me. However, I beat him at the start of the second.
I still train with Joe Mac, the leader of Team 187 who I represent, at Semtex gym; his classes are so intense I come out crawling. He is the best conditioning coach, getting me physically ready and conditioned for any fight, and has also taught me much of what I know. Elsewhere at 187, Jon Joe Ellis and Chris Walcott are good to spar with; they are ex boxers so have good hands and technique.
Ben Smith and Jake are big heavyweights, so are good for wrestling and rolling. I love sparring with all my team; it only gets me better!
Dino from Keddles has taught me a great deal, and is the leader of team Spartan, who I also represent. Ricardo heads up team Nova Forca who I also represent, and again, has also taught me a lot. I love sparring with brown belt Tim Radcliffe; he is very helpful in training. Also Tubes, who is my size and very good. I credit all my team and coaches for all my victories.
As far as my game goes, I have the perfect combination: Nova Forca is the New Force; you cannot kill a Spartan and 187 kill. My favourite fighter is of course the Spider Anderson Silva, who to me is the best in the world. He’s a genius. My favourite film is 300, of course. I fight at light heavy weight which is 93 kg, but I walk around at 96kg so I don’t have a problem cutting; I am a natural light heavy.
Family wise, I’m the second of 4 brothers, and have kids of my own who I love dearly. My dog ‘Boss’, helps me a lot with my cardio. I owe a lot to him and he gets rewarded with whole chickens.
Outside of training I run a car rental and sales business with a couple of friends. I’m also a qualified bodyguard which I’d like to pursue in the near future. Being business orientated, I’m always looking for new ways to do business. I love fast cars and bikes and am a proper petrol head. That’s me, Jimi ‘Poster Boy’ Manuwa.