UFC Fight Night 127: Jimi Manuwa vs. Jan Blachowicz fight preview

Name: Jimi Manuwa
Age: 38
Nationality: English
MMA Record: 17-3
UFC Record: 6-3
Notable Wins: Jan Blachowicz, Corey Anderson, Ovince Saint-Preux
Notable Losses: Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Johnson, Volkan Oezdemir
Last Fight: KO loss to Volkan Oezdemir

Fighter Profile: Manuwa has proven to be one of the most powerful and brutal knockout artists in the UFC light heavyweight division with highlight-reel KOs over the likes of Ovince Saint-Preux and Corey Anderson. But he’s also shown that he himself does not have a great chin as he’s been viciously finished three times in the UFC, including a devastating knockut loss to Volkan Oezdemir in his last fight. It’s possible Manuwa is just a step below the elite light heavyweights, but it’s also possible that at 38 he’s already hit his decline phase. There’s no doubting the power in his fists and in his leg kicks, but that chin is a major concern and his grappling isn’t great, either. His KO ability will keep him in most fights, but perhaps we’ve already seen him hit his peak.

Name: Jan Blachowicz

Age: 35
Nationality: Polish
MMA Record: 21-7
UFC Record: 4-4
Notable Wins: Ilir Latifi
Notable Losses: Jimi Manuwa
Last Fight: Decision win over Jared Cannonier

Fighter Profile: Blachowicz has proven to be a very inconsistent fighter inside the Octagon, albeit one who has been making improvements in his last few outings. At his best, he’s definitely a top-15 light heavyweight in the sport, and we saw that when he brutally knocked out Ilir Latifi with a liver kick. But we’ve also seen him at his low, such as when he was outwrestled by a badly wobbled Patrick Cummins. Credit to Blachowicz for making improvements to his game, and his submission win over Devin Clark was eye-opening, as was a clean decision win over Jared Cannonier, but overall it feels like his ceiling is about the gatekeeper level in the UFC.

Fight Breakdown: Like the first fight, I don’t expect this rematch to be a cakewalk for Manuwa. Though he’s undoubtedly a knockout artist, Blachowicz showed in the first fight he is a durable fighter and very hard to finish. Since the first time these two met I believe Manuwa has slightly regressed while Blachowicz has improved. But you have to keep in mind the level of competition they have been fighting, and there’s no doubt Manuwa has been fighting elite fighters while Blachowicz has been fighting borderline top-15 fighters. Like the first fight, I think Blachowicz is going to be too tough to finish, but I do favor Manuwa in the striking department, and I think he’ll be able to outland Blachowicz and win another decision over him. Manuwa’s chin worries me but I can’t deny the power advantage he has in this fight.

Prediction: Manuwa via decision


Written by Adam Martin.

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