Jon Manley is on the road back to the UFC as the Ultimate Fighter 16 alum will be looking for his second straight win since exiting the UFC in 2013 when he meets Brett Oteri at CES MMA 27 next Friday night in Rhode Island.
Manley (8-2) only had only official fight in the UFC as he lost to Neil Magny by unanimous decision at UFC 157 in early 2013 and after exiting the UFC, the major lesson he learned about himself is that he needs to improve on his striking.
“I learned again how tough I was and where I was as far as the MMA circuit and what I needed to work on,” Manley said on The MMA Report Live. “Obviously, I had good jiu-jitsu and my wrestling was ok as far as a grinder but my striking definitely needed a lot of work. That really showed when I fought Neil Magny and his 81 inch reach. Before then, I was just this slugger who hit hard but not actual much technique.”
Two weeks prior to his fight against Magny, a man walked into his gym and he is now working with that man. Tony Campbell entered Manley’s gym and just wanted to help out the fighters. He has become family for Manley and the fighter out of Massachusetts admitted that Campbell has taken his striking to another level.
“I have this new coach Tom Campbell and he is just awesome. He has been studying different forms of striking for over forty years. I have been doing a lot of private work with him and ever since working with him, my game has jumped a lot.”
Following the defeat to Magny, he was released by the UFC and he took a fight three months later at Victory Combat Sports and scored a decision win over Mike Winters. He has been out of action since that fight due to various injuries and he will now return against Oteri next week, who he knows the type of fight to expect from.
“He is a super tough guy and he is a big 170. He likes to push the pace and when he wins, he tends to tire guys out. He kind of strips their will from them. Other than that, he seems to like his kicks. He kicks into his takedowns and that really grinding style on the ground. He likes to squeeze you and try to make you quit.”
Manley is going to be ready to go wherever this fight goes, but there is one mission he has for this fight. To have the fans walk away from this fight saying, ‘did you see Jon Manley kick the s**t out of Brett Oteri.’
“I am taking this fight where ever it goes. I am ready everywhere but I am definitely not scared to stand with Brett Oteri. I really think, I beat him up with my hands. I beat him up against the cage. I take him down and I want to fight him everywhere. People are going to see my hands and know that I have been working on them.”
“I want a finish and I want it to be impressive. He likes to strike for awhile and then take you down and grind. I would like to not let him take me down, if anything, I want the takedown and be on top. I do not care, knockout, submission, TKO, as long as I am impressive the whole time. I want people to be like ‘oh damn, did you see Jon Manley kick the s**t out of Brett Oteri.’ That is exactly what I want. I just want people to be like, that is not a fair matchup.”