Melvin Manhof has walked away from Bellator 285 as one of the best players ever.
There was a time in the world, a time before the broadcast, where very few would have known who an MMA fighter was if they hadn’t fought for the UFC or a promotion like Strikeforce. It was very difficult to watch promotions in states that were not on national television, or in the US with a pay-per-view system like the UFC. Even promotions like PRIDE FC were hard to watch. The names and legends that have thrived outside the UFC umbrella have often been known only to the toughest of hardcore fans. One of those names, whose career ended at Bellator 285, was Melvin Manhoef.
Manhof was unable to take the win, as he was sent off by Yoel Romero to conclude his last fight with Bellator. Romero controlled the fight for the most part and eventually got Manhof to the ground in the third as Romero threw several crushing shots to the elbows and forearm to render Manhof unconscious.
After the fight the two men exchanged some words and hugged her. After the fight, Manhof, still slightly affected by the knockout, announced that it was over and that he would retire.
I wanted to fight names and did my best. …today, I think I should hang up the gloves after 28 years of fighting…make me feel alive.
After the fight, his family hugged him after he took off his gloves for the last time, while the crowd cheered for the mixed martial arts legend’s final outing.
Melvin Manhof was a man few people wanted to stand against
Before arriving at Bellator, Manhoef first made his name in Japan where he competed in two K-1 events and several DREAM events. Its punchy, sassy style has made it a must-watch TV for those who can find the action outside of Japan.
Prolific when it comes to knockouts, Manhof referred to himself as a “addict” to knockouts.
He achieved 29 knockouts out of 32 fights, 26 of which ended in the first round. He scored major victories over Cyborg Santos, Mark Hunt, Kazushi Sakuraba, and Ryo Kawamura. In his defeat, he only appears to have lost to the best with the likes of Gegard Mousasi, Robbie Lawler, Rafael Carvalho and Corey Anderson being some of the only names to defeat him.
While his championship success was limited, he won the Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Championship on one occasion and was one of the least coveted raffles of any of the three Grand Prix races he entered.