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Daniel Cormier’s Recent Tweets Strongly Suggest Jimi Manuwa Will Be His Next Challenger

After he finished Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson the weekend before last in Buffalo, UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier had words for two top contenders sitting cageside.

“You can’t beat me, Jimi. Jimi, you could come in here with your bare knuckle and punch me. I will eat that,” Cormier said to hard-hitting Brit Jimi Manuwa. “You can’t beat me, Jimi. You can’t beat me, you know it. Don’t lie to yourself(Transcription via Fox Sports).”

“I like Corey Anderson but you just beat Corey Anderson. Sit down, young man,” added ‘D.C’.

Cormier then took aim at bitter longtime rival Jon Jones, the only man to ever inflict a professional defeat upon him.

“Is that guy even eligible to fight yet? Don’t talk to me about a guy that’s ineligible,” barked Cormier. “When you get your [expletive] together and you’re ready to fight, I’m here waiting for you! You know it. I’ve been waiting for two years.”

“You got the first one but you knew after the first one that we had many coming. As a fighter, I respect him, we just don’t see eye to eye. Locking me in here with him, that’s a favor. He’s a good fighter but still not eligible. When he gets his academics in order he can come back to the classroom.”

Before Cormier even stepped into the octagon that night, fans already knew that Jones and Manuwa were the two most likely candidates to land the next title shot. Manuwa has won two-fights in a row and three of his last four. Both his most recent victories came via spectacular knockout. He may only be ranked third in the division but he is a fresher face and a more intriguing challenger than the two men ranked ahead of him, Glover Teixeira and Alexander Gustafsson.

Jones is not ranked, due to the fact that he is still serving a suspension stemming from a failed drug test last year, but he is the former champion, he is still widely considered to be the best light-heavyweight in the world, he is the opponent against whom Cormier will draw the most revenue, and he is eligible to return to action in early July. Plus the two have twice been scheduled to fight in the last twelve months only for the bouts to fall apart at the last minute.

Although he told FloCombat in the days before Cormier vs Johnson that he was still debating whether or not to take a “warm-up” fight before stepping back into a title bout, Jones was probably seen as the favourite to land the next shot. However, it now looks as though Manuwa will get his chance first.

That’s based on some recent Twitter exchanges between the ‘Poster Boy’ and Cormier.

In the final tweet, Comier suggests that Jones “needs to get his sea legs back”. Indeed, ‘Bones’ would undoubtedly benefit from some activity. He hasn’t fought since April of last year and he looked rather rusty in topping Ovince Saint Preux via decision. His previous fight was in January of 2015 against Cormier. Jones has only fought three times in the last three years.

With Cormier vs Manuwa looking more and more likely, Jones may be headed toward that suggested “warm-up” bout.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.