Open main menu

Melvin Manhoef (born 11 May 1976) is a Surinamese-Dutch professional mixed martial artist and former kickboxer. In kickboxing, he is a former It's Showtime Champion, and in MMA he was the Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Champion. In mixed martial arts, he is currently competing in Bellator's Middleweight division[3] and has also formerly competed for Strikeforce, DREAM, RINGS, It's Showtime, K-1, ONE FC, and KSW. 28 of his 30 wins have come via knockout, the highest percentage of any MMA fighter with at least 15 wins.[4]

Melvin Manhoef
Born (1976-05-11) 11 May 1976 (age 43)
Paramaribo, Suriname
Other namesNo Mercy
Height1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)[1]
Weight83.9 kg (185 lb; 13 st 3 lb)
DivisionWelterweight (MMA)
Middleweight (MMA)
Light Heavyweight (MMA)
Cruiserweight (Kickboxing)
Heavyweight (Kickboxing & MMA)
Reach71 in (180 cm)
Fighting out ofAmsterdam, Netherlands
TeamManhoef Fight & Fitness (2012 - present)
Mike's Gym (2005-2012, 2017)
Chakuriki Gym (1998-2005)
Rock Gym (1995-1998)
TrainerMike Passenier
Thom Harinck
Dennis Rock
Martin Jansen
RankBrown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Caio Terra
Years active1995–present (MMA)
1996–2017 (Kickboxing)
Kickboxing record
By knockout27
By knockout6
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout28
By decision3
By knockout5
By submission7
By decision2
No contests2
Other information
Notable relativesIsmael Londt, nephew
Cedric Manhoef, cousin[2]
Notable studentsIsmael Londt, Cedric Manhoef
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog
last updated on: 21 June 2014



Manhoef was born in Paramaribo, Suriname. When he was three years old his family moved to Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Manhoef played soccer during his youth, and was introduced to Muay Thai by his younger brother, Moreno.

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

At the age of 18, Manhoef had his first fight, which he won by decision. He made his comeback in September 2001, as part of Chakuriki Gym. In 2004, Manhoef entered the Cage Rage promotion in London. He became the British Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Champion by beating Fabio Piamonte at Cage Rage 13. He defended his title for almost two years, until entering the K-1's MMA affiliate promotion Hero's in 2006. He won his first fight at Hero's 4 against Shungo Oyama by technical knockout in first round.

Melvin has switched his main focus to MMA over the past couple of years. He lost to Dong-sik Yoon by submission armbar in K-1 Dynamite!! USA, he defeated Bernard Ackah at K-1 Hero's Middleweight Tournament Opening Round, and also got a TKO win against Fábio Silva, a Chute Boxe fighter, by TKO in K-1 Hero's Middleweight GP Final. At Dream 4 Melvin fought Kazushi Sakuraba. Manhoef and Sakuraba circled the ring for the first minute of the fight, before Manhoef dropped Sakuraba with a hard right head kick and finished him via TKO (hammerfists) at 90 seconds into Round 1. With the win, Melvin had advanced to the semifinal round of the DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix. At Dream 6 Melvin fought Gegard Mousasi as the tournament dictated. Wary of Manhoef's standup, Mousasi quickly took the fight to the ground despite attempts to shrug him with a sprawl. Mousasi took Manhoef's back until scrambling into a triangle choke at 1:28 of the first round, surviving a powerful slam attempt from Manhoef while he had the submission secured. Mousasi went on to win the DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix.[5]

At Dynamite!! 2008 Melvin fought Mark Hunt as a late alternate at heavyweight, despite usually functioning at two weight classes below his opponent. Regardless of the size disadvantage, he knocked down the iron-jawed Samoan in 18 seconds and followed with punches as he was postured over Hunt, until the referee stopped the fight.[6] It was the first time Hunt was finished by knockout in his MMA career. He fought former WEC Middleweight Champion Paulo Filho on 20 July 2009 at Dream 10.[7] Despite early success on the feet with his striking offensive, Manhoef was taken down and submitted via armbar in the first round.

Manhoef signed a multi-year fight contract with Strikeforce.[8] Manhoef made his debut for the organization against Robbie Lawler on 30 January 2010 at Strikeforce: Miami. Despite a strong start with heavy leg kicks and punches, he was knocked out at 3:33 in the first round.

Manhoef fought Tatsuya Mizuno at Dream 15 and lost by submission.[9]

Manhoef returned to the United States in March 2011, facing Tim Kennedy at Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson.[10] He lost the fight via submission in the first round.

Manhoef in 2012.

On 31 January 2012 it was announced that Manhoef had signed with ONE Fighting Championship and would be fighting Renato Sobral in the main event at ONE Fighting Championship 3.[11] However, Sobral pulled out of the fight and Manhoef faced Yoshiyuki Nakanishi. The fight ended in a No Contest due to an accidental injury to Manhoef's leg in round 1. Manhoef scored a knockout victory on 6 October 2012 against Ryo Kawamura, followed by a quick knockout of Dennis Kang on 31 December 2012. Melvin is now on a three-fight win streak in MMA and has gone 4–0 on New Year's Eve.

Recently Manhoef was training with the famous Black House in the United States. He helped his teammate Lyoto Machida train for a fight with Dan Henderson. Manhoef openly hopes to sign with the UFC after visiting UFC 156 in Las Vegas and meeting with Dana White.

In 2013 Manhoef fought UFC veteran Brock Larson at ONE FC on 5 April. After controlling the standup and Larson literally running away from him, Manhoef was repeatedly taken down in the last two rounds and Larson won via unanimous decision. He lost to Mamed Khalidov at KSW23 on 8 June 2013.

He lost to Zabit Samedov by unanimous decision in the semi-finals of the 93 kg/205 lb kickboxing tournament at Legend 2: Invasion in Moscow, Russia on 9 November 2013.[12][13][14]

Manhoef faced Evangelista Santos in a much-anticipated rematch for the Gringo Super Fight Welterweight title on 27 April.[15] The fight was Melvin's first at 170 lbs. Manhoef won the bout via TKO, early in the first round.

It was announced during the Glory 15: Istanbul broadcast that Manhoef would be one of eight fighters competing in the Glory 17: Los Angeles - Last Man Standing middleweight tournament in Inglewood, California, United States on June 21, 2014.[16][17] He lost to Filip Verlinden in the quarter-finals, suffering a head kick knockdown in round one before losing a majority decision.[18][19][20]

Bellator MMAEdit

On 21 July 2014, Bellator MMA announced that they signed Paul Daley along with Melvin Manhoef.[21]

Manhoef made his Bellator debut against Doug Marshall, in a middleweight bout, at Bellator 125 on 19 September 2014.[22] He won the fight via knockout in the first round.

Manhoef faced Glory veteran Joe Schilling on 15 November 2014 at Bellator 131.[23] After a dominant first round that saw Manhoef drop Schilling twice, he lost the fight in the second round due to a knockout.

Manhoef next faced Alexander Shlemenko on 13 February 2015 at Bellator 133.[24] He lost via knockout early in the second round. On 17 March 2015 Shlemenko was suspended indefinitely for failing a post fight drug test with elevated testosterone levels. The fight result was changed to a no contest.[25]

Manhoef faced Rafael Carvalho on 20 May 2016 for the Bellator Middleweight Championship at Bellator 155.[26] Manhoef lost a controversial split decision. Bellator announcer Jimmy Smith called it one of the worst decisions he had ever seen in the promotion; likewise, 5 of 5 media outlets scored the bout in favor of Manhoef.[27]

An immediate rematch with Carvalho was scheduled to take place at Bellator 168, on 10 December 2016.[28] However, Carvalho pulled out of the fight due to injury.[29] The rematch eventually took place on 8 April 2017 at Bellator 176. Manhoef lost the bout via knockout due to a head kick in the fourth round.[30]

Manhoef made a comeback to kickboxing and faced Remy Bonjasky for the fourth time, after losing three times, on 29 October 2017. Manhoef won the bout by decision. He announced his retirement from kickboxing and stated that he would focus on his MMA career.[31]

In May 2018 it was revealed that Manhoef and Bellator had come to terms for an exclusive, multi-fight contract.[32]

Manhoef was scheduled to face Chidi Njokuani on 30 November 2018 at Bellator 210.[33] However, on 1 November 2018 it was reported that Manhoef pulled out from the event due to injury and he was replaced by John Salter.[34]

After over two years away from MMA action, Manhoef returned and faced Kent Kauppinen at Bellator 223. He won the fight by unanimous decision.[35]

Business careerEdit

Manhoef founded a kickboxing and MMA-promotion named World Fighting League.[36]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit


Mixed martial artsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
48 matches 31 wins 14 losses
By knockout 28 5
By submission 0 7
By decision 3 2
Draws 1
No contests 2
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 31–14–1 (2) Kent Kauppinen Decision (unanimous) Bellator 223 22 June 2019 3 5:00 London, England
Loss 30–14–1 (2) Rafael Carvalho KO (head kick) Bellator 176 8 April 2017 4 3:15 Torino, Italy For the Bellator Middleweight Championship.
Loss 30–13–1 (2) Rafael Carvalho Decision (split) Bellator 155 20 May 2016 5 5:00 Boise, Idaho, United States For the Bellator Middleweight Championship.
Win 30–12–1 (2) Hisaki Kato KO (punch) Bellator 146 20 November 2015 1 3:43 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States
NC 29–12–1 (2) Alexander Shlemenko NC (overturned) Bellator 133 13 February 2015 2 1:25 Fresno, California, United States Originally knockout win for Shlemenko; overturned after he tested positive for Anabolic steroids.
Loss 29–12–1 (1) Joe Schilling KO (punches) Bellator 131 15 November 2014 2 0:32 San Diego, California, United States
Win 29–11–1 (1) Doug Marshall KO (punch) Bellator 125 19 September 2014 1 1:45 Fresno, California, United States Return to Middleweight.
Win 28–11–1 (1) Evangelista Santos TKO (punches) Gringo Super Fight 10 27 April 2014 1 0:46 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Won the Gringo Super Fight Welterweight Title.
Loss 27–11–1 (1) Mamed Khalidov Submission (guillotine choke) KSW 23 8 June 2013 1 2:09 Gdańsk, Poland Catchweight (87 kg) bout; Khalidov failed to make weight.
Loss 27–10–1 (1) Brock Larson Decision (unanimous) ONE Fighting Championship: Kings and Champions 5 April 2013 3 5:00 Kallang, Singapore
Win 27–9–1 (1) Denis Kang TKO (knee to the body) Dream 18 31 December 2012 1 0:50 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 26–9–1 (1) Ryo Kawamura KO (punch) ONE FC: Rise of Kings 6 October 2012 1 4:40 Kallang, Singapore
Win 25–9–1 (1) Jae Young Kim Decision (split) Road FC 9: Beatdown 15 September 2012 3 5:00 Wonju Chiak Indoor Gym, South Korea
NC 24–9–1 (1) Yoshiyuki Nakanishi NC ONE FC: War of the Lions 31 March 2012 1 2:08 Kallang, Singapore Catchweight (88 kg); gash on Manhoef's leg rendered him unable to continue.
Loss 24–9–1 Tim Kennedy Submission (rear-naked choke) Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson 5 March 2011 1 3:41 Columbus, Ohio, United States
Loss 24–8–1 Tatsuya Mizuno Submission (kimura) Dream 15 10 July 2010 1 7:38 Saitama, Saitama, Japan Dream Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal.
Loss 24–7–1 Robbie Lawler KO (punch) Strikeforce: Miami 30 January 2010 1 3:33 Sunrise, Florida, United States
Win 24–6–1 Kazuo Misaki TKO (punches) Dynamite!! The Power of Courage 2009 31 December 2009 1 1:49 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Loss 23–6–1 Paulo Filho Submission (armbar) Dream 10 20 July 2009 1 2:35 Saitama, Saitama, Japan
Win 23–5–1 Mark Hunt KO (punches) Fields Dynamite!! 2008 31 December 2008 1 0:18 Saitama, Saitama, Japan Heavyweight bout.
Loss 22–5–1 Gegard Mousasi Submission (triangle choke) Dream 6: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 Final Round 23 September 2008 1 1:28 Saitama, Saitama, Japan Dream Middleweight Grand Prix Semifinal.
Win 22–4–1 Kazushi Sakuraba KO (punches) Dream 4: Middleweight Grand Prix 2008 Second Round 15 June 2008 1 1:30 Yokohama, Japan Dream Middleweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal.
Win 21–4–1 Dae Won Kim TKO (knee and punches) Dream 3: Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 Second Round 11 May 2008 1 4:08 Saitama, Saitama, Japan Dream Middleweight Grand Prix Reserve bout.
Win 20–4–1 Yosuke Nishijima TKO (punches) K-1 PREMIUM 2007 Dynamite!! 31 December 2007 1 1:49 Osaka, Japan
Win 19–4–1 Fábio Silva TKO (punches) Hero's 10 17 September 2007 1 1:00 Yokohama, Japan
Win 18–4–1 Bernard Ackah TKO (punches) Hero's 9 16 July 2007 1 2:13 Yokohama, Japan
Loss 17–4–1 Dong Sik Yoon Submission (armbar) K-1 Dynamite!! USA 2 June 2007 2 1:17 Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 17–3–1 Yoshiki Takahashi TKO (punches) Hero's 8 12 March 2007 1 2:36 Nagoya, Japan
Loss 16–3–1 Yoshihiro Akiyama Submission (armbar) Hero's 7 9 October 2006 1 1:58 Yokohama, Japan Hero's 2006 Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Final.
Win 16–2–1 Shungo Oyama TKO (punches) Hero's 7 9 October 2006 1 1:04 Yokohama, Japan Hero's 2006 Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal.
Win 15–2–1 Crosley Gracie TKO (punches) Hero's 6 5 August 2006 1 9:12 Tokyo, Japan Hero's 2006 Light Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal.
Win 14–2–1 Ian Freeman KO (punches) Cage Rage 17 1 July 2006 1 0:17 London, England Defended the Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 13–2–1 Shungo Oyama TKO (doctor stoppage) Hero's 4 15 March 2006 1 2:51 Tokyo, Japan
Win 12–2–1 Evangelista Santos KO (punches) Cage Rage 15 4 February 2006 2 3:51 London, England Defended the Cage Rage Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 11–2–1 Fabio Piamonte KO (punches) Cage Rage 13 10 September 2005 1 0:51 London, England Won the Cage Rage World Light Heavyweight Championship.
Win 10–2–1 Paul Cahoon TKO (punches) CFC 4 Cage Carnage 3 July 2005 1 N/A Liverpool, England
Win 9–2–1 Bob Schrijber Decision (unanimous) It's Showtime Boxing & MMA Event 2005 Amsterdam 12 June 2005 2 5:00 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Win 8–2–1 Ladislav Zak TKO (corner stoppage) Queens Fight Night 30 April 2005 1 0:37 Eindhoven, Netherlands
Win 7–2–1 Matthias Riccio TKO (punches) Cage Rage 10 26 February 2005 1 3:01 London, England
Loss 6–2–1 Rodney Glunder KO (punches) It's Showtime 2004 Amsterdam 20 May 2004 2 4:43 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Win 6–1–1 Slavomir Molnar KO (punches) Heaven or Hell 4 8 April 2004 1 N/A Prague, Czech Republic
Win 5–1–1 Alexandr Garkushenko TKO (punches) M-1 MFC: Russia vs. the World 5 6 April 2003 1 6:57 Saint Petersburg, Russia
Loss 4–1–1 Bob Schrijber KO (punches) 2H2H 11: Simply the Best 16 March 2003 1 4:04 Rotterdam, Netherlands
Win 4–0–1 Mika Ilmén KO (punch) It's Showtime – As Usual / Battle Time 29 September 2002 1 0:35 Haarlem, Netherlands
Win 3–0–1 Paul Cahoon TKO (corner stoppage) Rings Holland: Saved by the Bell 2 June 2002 2 2:07 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Win 2–0–1 Husein Cift KO (punches) Hoogwoud Free Fight Gala 15 December 2001 1 1:50 Hoogwoud, Netherlands
Draw 1–0–1 Rodney Glunder Draw Rings Holland: The Kings of the Magic Ring 20 June 1999 2 5:00 Utrecht, Netherlands
Win 1–0 Jordy Jonkers TKO (palm strike and head kick) Battle of Amstelveen II 2 December 1995 2 3:37 Amstelveen, Netherlands


Kickboxing recordEdit

Professional kickboxing record

Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw/No contest   Notes

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Melvin Manhoef profile Archived 2013-03-06 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Cedric Manhoef Superkombat World Champion 2013" (in Dutch). 7 November 2014. Archived from the original on 29 September 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ "Bellator signs Melvin Manhoef". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "DREAM | 対戦カード". Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  6. ^ "Melvin Manhoef vs Mark Hunt @ Dynamite 2008". Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  7. ^ [1] Archived May 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Manhoef Signs with Strikeforce". Sherdog.
  9. ^ Jack Encarnacao. "The Weekly Wrap: June 12 - June 18". Sherdog.
  10. ^ Dann Stupp. "Kennedy expected to meet Manhoef, not Rockhold, at "Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson"". MMAjunkie. Archived from the original on 2011-02-05. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ Ray Hui. "Melvin Manhoef to Face Renato 'Babalu' Sobral at One FC 3". MMA Fighting.
  12. ^ A Look at the Eclectic LEGEND: Invasion Fight Card
  13. ^ Legend 2: Invasion Live Results
  14. ^ Legend Invasion 2 gifs and results from Moscow
  15. ^ "Gringo SF 10 | MMA Event Page". Tapology. 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  16. ^ GLORY 17 Los Angeles Featuring PPV Tournament
  17. ^ GLORY 17: 'Last Man Standing' 8-man middleweight PPV announced for June 21
  18. ^ Glory 17 and Last Man Standing Live Results Archived 2016-03-06 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Glory's Last Man Standing Results Archived 2014-06-26 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Glory results: Artem Levin, Rico Verhoeven and Joseph Valtellini take home Glory gold 88
  21. ^ "Bellator Bolsters Roster With Paul Daley & Melvin Manhoef". 2014-07-21. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  22. ^ "Sluggers Melvin Manhoef and Doug Marshall headline Bellator 125". 2014-08-12.
  23. ^ "Melvin Manhoef vs. Joe Schilling added to Bellator 131".
  24. ^ Critchfield, Tristen (2014-12-06). "Alexander Shlemenko-Melvin Manhoef Middleweight Tilt Headlines Feb. 13 Bellator Event". Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  25. ^ "Bellator's Alexander Shlemenko suspended, fined after failing post-fight drug test". March 17, 2015.
  26. ^ "Rafael Carvalho vs. Melvin Manhoef, Pat Curran vs. Georgi Karakhanyan set for Bellator 155".
  27. ^ "Rafael Carvalho def. Melvin Manhoef". MMA Decisions. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  28. ^ Staff (October 7, 2016). "Rafael Carvalho vs. Melvin Manhoef title rematch headlines Bellator 168 in Italy".
  29. ^ Mike Bohn (December 3, 2016). "Injury knocks champ Rafael Carvalho from Bellator 168 main event vs. Melvin Manhoef".
  30. ^ Dann Stupp (April 8, 2017). "Bellator 176 results: Champ Rafael Carvalho flattens Melvin Manhoef with big head kick".
  31. ^
  32. ^ Tristen Critchfield (May 1, 2018). "Bellator MMA Re-signs Melvin Manhoef to Exclusive, Multi-Fight Contract".
  33. ^ "Melvin Manhoef vs. Chidi Njokuani to headline Bellator 210". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  34. ^ "Melvin Manhoef Out, John Salter in Against Chidi Njokuani at Bellator 210". Sherdog. Retrieved 2018-11-02.
  35. ^ Tucker, Bryan (22 June 2019). "Bellator 223 London Results: Mousasi vs. Lovato". MMAFighting. Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  36. ^
  37. ^ Breen, Jordan (2013-01-05). "'s 2012 All-Violence Team - First Team". Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  38. ^ "Melvin". Sherdog. Retrieved 2018-10-18.

External linksEdit