UFC Fight Night 30 went down Saturday from Manchester, England. Fans in attendance were surely pulling for countryman Jimi Manuwa, a raw but undefeated prospect in the light heavyweight division, to score one of his signature brutal knockouts on Canadian Ryan Jimmo.
According to the stat line, it happened. But the real outcome was anything but orthodox.
Jimmo, widely regarded as one of the most boring fighters in the UFC, attempted early in the fight to use his trademark clinch to stifle Manuwa's aggression. But Manuwa made him pay, landing heavy knee strikes to the thigh when the clinch was on and staying away from the fence and Jimmo himself to prevent the tie-ups in the first place. In short, Manuwa did everything he could to make it a striking battle, and at some points Jimmo even returned fire.
In the second round, Manuwa moved to break up a clinch with a knee to Jimmo's forehead. The knee connected, and Jimmo staggered back. Jimmo appeared to reset his footwork, but then paused, stumbled and collapsed to the ground. Though on first glance it seemed possible Jimmo was falling on a delayed reaction to the knee strike, in retrospect it was clear he sustained a left leg injury.
The end result was a TKO victory for Manuwa at 4:41 of the second round, coming by way of opponent injury.
Interestingly, though 13 of 14 pro victories have come by way of knockout for the 33-year-old Manuwa, the win over Jimmo was his second consecutive win to come via injury-related knockout. In February, Manuwa defeated Cyrille Diabate by TKO after then-39-year-old Diabate injured his calf and was unable to answer the bell for the second round.
In his UFC debut in September 2012, Manuwa's fight with Kyle Kingsbury ended after the second round when a doctor ruled that Kingsbury's eye was so swollen that he could no longer see out of it.
Manuwa has never fought in the third round of a fight. Despite fighting three times in the UFC, he has never fought outside his native England.