A matchup between light heavyweight contenders Jimi Manuwa and Corey Anderson headlines UFC Fight 107. How do the two fighters stack up? Read on for our full breakdown.
Youth vs. Experience
There’s a sizable difference in age and experience between the two fighters. Manuwa will be 37 on fight night and competing in MMA for the 19th time, whereas Anderson is 27 and will be competing for the 12th time.
Manuwa sits at number five on the UFC’s light heavyweight contender rankings, and Anderson has the number seven spot. The online sports betting sites have followed these rankings by installing Manuwa as the favorite in this matchup. Looking at their respective track records, it’s easy to see why. Manuwa is 16-2, and he has only lost to the best, getting stopped by two top-five light heavyweights in Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson. He has defeated several mid-tier fighters, with the most recent being a TKO over Ovince Saint Preux.
Although he’s 11-2, Anderson really hasn’t had a signature win yet. He won his season of The Ultimate Fighter, won his next fight, and then lost to Gian Villante via TKO. He has since won four out of his last five, with the only loss being his UFC 198 fight in Brazil against Mauricio Rua. That was a close fight that Anderson may have won, were it not for getting dropped twice at the end of the first and second rounds.
Striker vs. Wrestler
While both fighters are complete mixed martial artists, Manuwa is certainly the more seasoned striker, with 14 of his 16 wins coming by KO or TKO. Anderson, on the other hand, gravitates towards wrestling, with 59 percent of his offense being takedowns.
Anderson has been improving his striking, but that may not be enough for him to stand with Manuwa. Rua was able to knock down Anderson twice in their fight, and while he possesses solid knockout power, he’s not nearly as dangerous a striker as Manuwa at this point in their careers.
The best chance for Anderson to succeed would be to take Manuwa down and grind out a decision, but that won’t be easy, as Manuwa has solid takedown defense. Anderson also hasn’t proven himself to be an elite grappler yet, so he’ll need to work hard to score those takedowns.
Both men have identical reach of 79 inches, but Anderson is 2 inches taller and should use his length while striking. He has a solid kicking game, and that may be the best way to stay safe against Manuwa, who is deadliest with his boxing. For Anderson, he’ll want to keep this fight either at long range, or in tight to grapple. Manuwa will be looking to trade punches and connect with his left hook or his straight right hand, both of which he throws well to the body and head.
The two fighters’ ages will be the X-factor in this matchup. Manuwa is at that age where fighters typically start to decline, and it can happen out of nowhere. Anderson is just entering his prime, so if he has been training properly, he may demonstrate some significant improvements.
The likelihood of Manuwa suddenly getting significantly better is low. He’s probably going to look how he has looked in his last several fights. Anderson is the wild card here.
This fight may be closer than it looks, but we have to go with Manuwa to pick up the win here. He is a dangerous striker who also has the stamina to win by decision. Anderson is a solid fighter with plenty of physical talent. However, his striking isn’t as good as Manuwa’s and he probably won’t be able to hold his opponent down for long, either. Expect Manuwa to either score the knockout or take a clear decision.