Feared Dutch knockout artist Melvin Manhoef has plans to stay extremely busy in 2009 following a brief retirement stint in 2008. The fighter’s management recently confirmed with FiveOuncesOfPain.com that Manhoef has two bouts confirmed for the next two months with the possibility of a third.
The explosive striker announced his retirement following his disappointing loss to Gegard Mousasi in the DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix in September of 2008. Manhoef was caught in a triangle choke in the first round by Mousasi who went on to win the tournament.
Manhoef returned to action in December when he knocked out Paul Slowinski with a crushing left hook early in the first round of their K-1 rules bout.
Just three weeks later the 32-year old Muay Thai specialist accepted an invitation to fight the much larger Mark Hunt on less than one days notice at the K-1 “Dynamite!!” New Years event. Manhoef had accompanied his teammate Badr Hari to the event for his bout with Alistair Overeem. He was offered and accepted the match with Hunt after Jerome LeBanner was forced to withdrawal at the last moment. Manhoef accomplished the impossible when he handed the iron jawed heavyweight his very first knockout loss by a head strike in his career just seconds into the bout.
Manhoef is scheduled to face off with Belgian kickboxer Rustemi Kreshnik for the “It’s Showtime” promotion. The event is called “It’s Showtime presents: Fights at the Border” and will take in Antwerp, Belgium on February 8.
Manhoef’s management also confirmed that he could possibly take part in an MMA rules bout at the recently announced DREAM 7 event. DREAM 7 will be the opening round of the organization’s inaugural featherweight Grand Prix.
The Amsterdam native is scheduled to take part in the K-1 World Grand Prix in Yokohama, Japan on March 28th. The Grand Prix will feature top K-1 heavyweights Remy Bonjasky, Peter Aerts, Semmy Schilt, and Manhoef’s teammate Badr Hari among others.
Manhoef also has plans to take part in another K-1 rules bout in Amsterdam that is possible for sometime in May.