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Jimi Manuwa “truly gutted” after hamstring tear rules him out of UFC Sao Paulo

British knockout artist reveals his disappointment after injury forces him out of the UFC Sao Paulo main event

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Per Haljestam

Everything seemed set for British light-heavyweight ace Jimi Manuwa.

The training camp had been negotiated safely, the preparation was done and he’d landed in Brazil ahead of his main event bout at UFC Fight Night in Sao Paulo on September 22.

He’d even shrugged off an opponent change after his original dance partner Glover Teixeira withdrew from the contest last month and was replaced by fellow countryman Thiago “Marreta” Santos.

But disaster struck the “Posterboy” when he sustained a hamstring injury during his final training session in Brazil ahead of the bout. It forced him off the card and left the 38-year-old Londoner frustrated and disappointed.

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I'm truly gutted. The day after I landed in Brazil I went for my last hard training session. During that session of sprints I tore my hamstring, and after getting it assessed in hospital, doctors diagnosed it as a severe tear greater than 50%. They told me it will be a minimum of 6 weeks recovery time. Ill be working hard everyday to get back so I can continue to put on great fights for everyone to watch. I was 100% ready and looking forward to putting on a great show for the fans in São Paulo and around the world . I made a lot of sacrifices and even missed my daughter's 10th birthday. I'm sorry Havana, I love you, Daddy is on his way home. I want to thank everyone of you for the love and support you have sent my way. Without all of you none of this is possible. I can't wait to come back and put on a show for you all. Lions eat first 🦁

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Posting to his followers via his Instagram page, Manuwa explained: “I’m truly gutted. The day after I landed in Brazil I went for my last hard training session. During that session of sprints I tore my hamstring, and after getting it assessed in hospital, doctors diagnosed it as a severe tear greater than 50%. They told me it will be a minimum of six weeks’ recovery time.

“I’ll be working hard every day to get back so I can continue to put on great fights for everyone to watch. I was 100% ready and looking forward to putting on a great show for the fans in Sao Paulo and around the world.

“I made a lot of sacrifices and even missed my daughter’s 10th birthday. I’m sorry Havana, I love you, Daddy is on his way home.

“I want to thank every one of you for the love and support you have sent my way. Without all of you, none of this is possible. I can’t wait to come back and put on a show for you all. Lions eat first.”

More often than not, Manuwa’s fights deliver fireworks. The Brit made a late start to his MMA career, making his professional debut at the age of 28. But he wasted no time in making an impact as he tore through the domestic scene, compiling an 11-0 record (11 finishes), before joining the UFC and making his octagon debut back in September 2012.

The British power puncher has finished all but one of his 17 career victories, and has highlight-reel finishes of notable light-heavyweights Ovince Saint-Preux and Corey Anderson.

Manuwa was looking to jump back into the win column in Sao Paulo after being outpointed by Poland’s Jan Blachowicz in his last outing.

But now it seems the Brit will have to undergo a lengthy period of rest before resuming training.

And you can bet the “Posterboy” will return to action all guns blazing as he looks to make up for lost time.

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 19 years’ experience in the UK's national media covering major sporting events including UFC world title fights, Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, Grand National and the FA Cup Final.

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