The UFC's light heavyweight division has been one of the promotion's thinnest in the past few years. The top-heavy division has featured either #JonJones or #DanielCormier as champion since March 2011.
Cormier and Jones will once again do battle at #UFC214 in Los Angeles – unless an unforeseen circumstance takes one of the two men out of the contest, which has been known to occur. Hopefully, their snake-bitten rivalry will hold up and produce the rematch MMA fans have been waiting years to see, but if things do go awry, top light heavyweight contender #JimiManuwa will be waiting in the wings.
Manuwa is currently scheduled to face #VolkanOezdemir on the UFC 214 card at the end of July, so a move to the main event seems natural if one of the two main event fighters falls out. If the night goes off without a hitch, Manuwa still feels confident that he'll be next to challenge for the gold.
“I’m okay, I can’t argue with Jon Jones getting the fight,” Manuwa said on The MMA Hour. “He’s one of the greatest fighters of all-time, like I said before. I believe I’ll knock Volkan out and Dana [White] said I’ll get a title shot after that, so if one more person has to get it, then so be it.”
Manuwa is just the latest UFC fighter to be promised a title fight by Dana White; many never coming to fruition.
Manuwa would have a clear path to the title if it wasn't for his close friend and training partner #AlexanderGustafsson. Gustaffson looked great in his recent defeat of Glover Teixeira and holds a knockout victory over Manuwa at UFC Fight Night 37.
Manuwa knows Gustaffson's credentialed and wouldn't be upset being passed over for his friend.
“We both don’t really care who gets the title shot first,” Manuwa said. “Alex I’d say he’s the best in the world and I’d be happy for him to get it, and I’d be happy to get it myself. We don't let that come in between us. We train together, help each other out, we’re friends and good sparring partners, so I don't really care who gets it. Obviously, I want it and he wants it, so whatever happens, happens.”
There's still a situation where both fighters get passed for the next title fight. If Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier ends in a close decision victory in favor of D.C. it's reasonable to see Dana White scheduling an immediate rematch.
That's the unpredictable nature of the UFC.