UFC's Jimi Manuwa says fights vs. David Haye or Anthony Joshua 'still could happen'

Jimi Manuwa (left) last fought against Volkan Oezdemir back in July 2017. Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

UFC light-heavyweight Jimi Manuwa has revealed he would like to fight David Haye or Anthony Joshua and that either fight is a realistic possibility.

Manuwa, 38, is scheduled to face Jan Blachowicz on March 17 on the UFC Fight Night London card -- an opponent he beat via unanimous decision back in April 2015.

However, Manuwa (17-3) nearly opted for a boxing fight against fellow Londoner David Haye last year and insists it's a fight that could still be made.

"We were trying to make it happen, but he chose to fight Tony Bellew instead," Manuwa told ESPN. "Negotiations went really well. He wanted it, and I wanted it.

"We talked after that fight [Haye's loss vs. Bellew] and thought maybe we'd do it in the first quarter of 2018, but obviously he got injured and I had a fight coming up. He's fighting in May and I'm fighting in March, so we'll see what happens.

"Speaking to Dana [White], he was up for it and he liked the numbers. It would have been a massive, massive fight for London. We're both from south London, and it would have been a massive cross-over fight with us being big names in our sport. Roughly the same size and weight as well. It potentially still could happen.

"If the division gets held up by everything else that's going on, that's a possibility for me."

Aside from Haye, Manuwa is also interested in a bout against current WBA and IBF world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. However, he insists that any potential match-up against Britain's Joshua would have to take place inside an Octagon rather than a boxing ring.

"There's not so many 'big names' in cruiserweight that would interest me," Manuwa said. "And all the heavyweights are six foot eight and massive, like Joshua. I'd fight him in an MMA fight but not in a boxing fight."

Manuwa is currently ranked as No. 4 in the UFC light-heavyweight division.