Jimi Manuwa retires from MMA after UFC on ESPN+ 11 loss

"Posterboy" hangs it up after almost 11 years in the cage

British light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa (17-6-0) took to social media earlier today to announce his retirement from mixed martial arts, days after being knocked out by Aleksandar Rakic at UFC on ESPN+ 11 in Sweden.

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I came to London from Nigeria when i was 10 yrs old in 1990. I grew up in south London and had crazy teenage years filled with fights and life lessons. In 2006 i was 26 years old and i discovered the ufc while flicking through the sports channels late at night , it immediately captured me , the likes of rampage jackson, tito ortiz , randy couture , shogun were my favourite fighters and i became a fan instantly. i’d never set foot in any martial arts gym in my life and neither didn’t have any plans to. In 2008 i was 28 years old and i said to myself that i’m gonna fight for the ufc. i got off my sofa and started training muay thai and bjj , i had no martial arts experience but i was a tough cunt from south london. Martial arts immediately put more structure and discipline into my crazy life and helped me become a much better person than i was previously. I had my first pro fight after 2 weeks training and i won. within the first 2 years i was uk number 1, but the goal was to fight for the ufc. I won all my fights by ko and in 2012 i accepted a ufc contract after turning them down twice with an 11-0 record all knockouts. Ive had a great martial arts career and the last 4 fights have been tough losses to take not only for myself but for my family who is always first, ive given out a mostly knockouts and taken a few myself , that’s my fan loving style but it takes a toll on the body especially concussions which are not visible to the eye i’ve met a lot of great people along the way and travelled the world but it’s time to leave this chapter and on to the next one because there’s a life after fighting and i feel it’s my obligation to give more to combat sports which i love dearly outside of fighting. Thank you @danawhite and the @ufc for letting me showcase my skills and thank you to all my coaches and training partners who have helped and taught me along the way , much love to the fans and last but not least much love to my dear family who together we made this dream a reality. Jimi POSTERBOY Manuwa PB1 🦁 … stay tuned 😉

A post shared by Jimi Manuwa (@pb1_) on

Manuwa, 39, first started attracting major attention when he joined BAMMA in late 2011, where he won his debut fight before signing with the UFC in 2012. He went 6-6-0 in the octagon, including losing his last four contests.

Some notable highlights include his debut victory over Kyle Kingsbury, and shutdowns of Ovince St. Preux at at UFC 204 in October 2016, and Corey Anderson at UFC Fight Night 107 in March 2017.

Manuwa expressed wanting to “give more to combat sports” and credited martial arts for making him a better person and overcoming his troubled youth.



Kenai is a former Postmedia Network news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.


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