Strikeforce Signs Melvvin Manhoef To A Multi-Year Fight Contract

Melvin Manhoef

DREAM and K-1 powerhouse Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef has signed a multi-year agreement to compete for world championship mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion STRIKEFORCE.

The 33 year old, who hails from Amsterdam, Netherlands, comes to STRIKEFORCE after reaching the semifinal round of the 2008 DREAM Middleweight (185 pounds) Grand Prix tournament by scoring first round TKOs on Dae Won Kim and legendary champion Kazushi Sakuraba on May 11, 2008 and June 15, 2008 respectfully.

His well-known battle cry “When I fight, I am willing to die” has translated into Manhoef’s explosive style of fighting, one that has helped him earn 22 of his 30 career MMA wins and 27 of his 45 career kickboxing victories by way of knockout.

On February 26, 2005, Manhoef initiated his best run to date, a 10 fight win streak in MMA competition, by stopping Matthias Riccio at Cage Rage 10 in London, England with a series of strikes in the first round (3:01).

Amongst his victims during this stretch were Ian “The Machine” Freeman and Crosley Gracie, both of whom Manhoef stopped in the first round with strikes. Manhoef was crowned Cage Rage champion on September 10, 2005 after scoring a 51 second knockout with punches on Brazil’s Fabio Piamonte in London.

Asked on short notice to serve as a replacement in a heavyweight matchup with knockout artist Mark Hunt at the annual New Year’s Eve “Dynamite” extravaganza in Saitama, Japan last year, Manhoef obliged and, despite being at a tremendous weight disadvantage, crushed the Samoan fighter with an onslaught of punches a mere 18 seconds after the opening bell rang.
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Jerome LeBanner Sick, Melvin Manhoef Steps Up To Face Mark Hunt at NYE Fields K-1 Dynamite

Susumu Nagao's Photograph

Melvin Manhoef has stepped in to fight Mark Hunt at New Years Eve’s Fields K-1 Dynamite show, replacing an ill Jerome LeBanner. Manhoef comes in as a true light heavyweight, giving up possibly 50 lbs to the heavyweight Mark Hunt. No word on to the type or extent of Jerome LeBanner’s illness.

Broadcast Update: Fields K-1 Dynamite will not be shown live in the US. Talks with HDNet and have were not successful.

Fields K-1 Dynamite is set to go off on December 31 from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

DREAM 3 Results, Second Round Lightweight Grand Prix

Continuing in the lightweight grand prix: Eddie Alvarez, Caol Uno, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and possibly Shinya Aoki.

Side Note:
American Top Team has announced that Gesias “JZ” Calvancante will require orthoscopic surgury on his knee and could be out possibly the rest of 2008.