Two of the light heavyweight division’s up and coming contenders square off in the main event of UFC Fight Night 107 at the O2 Arena in London on March 18th, 2017.
Fifth ranked Jimi Manuwa will face 7th ranked Corey Anderson in a fight that was promoted to top billing after the UFC reportedly had a difficulty in booking a main event for their London return. Needless to say, it’s set up as a big fight and the crowd at O2 Arena should be loud and ready for a good one:
— #UFCLondon (@UFCEurope) February 26, 2017
This will be Manuwa’s second time to headline an event at the O2 Arena. Previously, he was knocked out by Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Fight Night 37.
Knocking On Championship Door
Manuwa is coming off an impressive 2nd round knockout win over former title challenger Ovince St. Preux at UFC 204 in Manchester. The English fighter has a 16-2 record and has 14 KOs to his credit. He’s been knocking on the championship door several times before but knockout losses to Anthony Johnson and Alexander Gustafsson have derailed Poster Boy in the past two years. With another opportunity to headline an event, Manuwa looks to improve his ranking and get closer to that chance to finally fight for a world title.
Fellow Up And Comer
After winning the Ultimate Fighter 19 season, Corey Anderson has compiled a 5-2 record in the UFC. The 7th ranked light heavyweight is also coming off a TKO victory over Sean O’Connell at UFC Fight Night 102 last December. Like Manuwa, he’s one of the up and comers in a stacked 205-pound division. But like Manuwa, he come up short in the biggest bout of his career. Overtime suffered a close split decision win against Mauricio Shogun Rua at UFC 198 in May 2016. But given a chance to make a name for himself, Anderson sets his sights on beating another highly ranked fighter in Manuwa. A victory over Manuwa puts Anderson on the title map but it won’t be easy.
Experience is The Key
The odds are calling this one for the Brit with Manuwa currently a -145 favorite against Anderson’s +115. But while the lines may be close, Manuwa has significant advantage in terms of experience and quality of opposition faced. Like Manuwa, Corey Anderson is an accurate striker with high volume of punches thrown. But we saw what happened to Ovince St. Preux when he faced Manuwa at UFC 204. Corey Anderson does have the puncher’s chance of beating Manuwa but it’s unlikely the hometown boy will disappoint. We’re picking Jimi Manuwa to win this fight via knockout.