At 43 years old, Melvin Manhoef’s power continues to serve him well, as he secured a knockout win at Bellator Milan on Saturday.
Melvin Manhoef returned to action Saturday for the first time since June, when he earned a unanimous decision win over Kent Kauppinen in London. This time out, Manhoef was at Bellator: Milan, where he faced a much taller, rangier man in Yannick Bahati.
There had been plenty of talk about Manhoef, 43, hanging up the gloves after this one. The Dutch kickboxer, however, had declined to commit either way ahead of the Bellator European Series event. Maybe a loss would have helped make up his mind. But Manhoef returned to form in Italy.
As the fight opened up, Bahati shot in, looking for a takedown, which Manhoef was able to fight off, finally pushing his opponent off of him. Manhoef nearly caught an outside kick, then fired a couple of straights. A left connected, but it was a right hand that dropped Bahati moments later! Bahati covered up, while Manhoef unleashed with ground n’ pound. Bahati would survive initially, but Manhoef would unleash a second volley of strikes from the top. Several connected clean, and soon enough, Yannick Bahati was out!
Power goes last, and Melvin Manhoef was another example, earning his 32nd MMA win Saturday at Bellator: Milan. “This is my last fight on the contract of Bellator. I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Manhoef said after the fight. Adding that he still feels good at 43, he remained non-committal about whether he’d return. If it was his final bow, it was a strong performance to go out on.
Official Result: Melvin Manhoef def. Yannick Bahati by knockout, Round 1, 2:29