Photo by Anton Tabuena
Despite some rumors that have been floating around all week, it doesn't appear that the UFC is going to sign kickboxing star Melvin Manhoef to compete in their welterweight division.
Earlier in the week, rumors were flying that kickboxing star and MMA veteran Melvin Manhoef (27-9) was going to sign with the UFC and compete in the welterweight division. Manhoef attended UFC 156 and was seen having his picture taken with Dana White. Although Manhoef has signed a management agreement with Black House and is training alongside Lyoto Machida, the rumors do not appear to be true at this time. Fighters Only explains:
Contrary to reports yesterday, there is in fact no deal in place for Melvin Manhoef to join the UFC. Sources say that the talk was sparked by Manhoef training at the Black House gym with Lyoto Machida and also signing a management agreement with the team. Black House manager Jorge Guimares gave an interview in Brazil in which he mentioned his desire to see Manhoef join the UFC welterweight division, and this was mistakenly picked up as Guimares announcing that a deal had been done. However, Fighters Only has been able to confirm that no deal has been done and that Manhoef, while on the radar, isn’t a top target.
ONE FC owner Victor Cui has also told BloodyElbow.com that Manhoef is still under contract to that organization.
Would the 36-year-old Manhoef be a good fit for the UFC? He's certainly an exciting fighter, and he's on a three-fight winning streak. His recent run in Strikeforce didn't turn out so well for him though, and he'd have a hard time climbing the ladder in the wrestling-rich 170 pound division. I have a feeling that they'll bring him in eventually.