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Striking legend Melvin Manhoef retires from MMA after KO loss to Yoel Romero

Longtime action fighter Melvin Manhoef is finally hanging up the gloves at the ripe old age of 46.

Longtime action fighter Melvin Manhoef is finally hanging up the gloves at the ripe old age of 46
Longtime action fighter Melvin Manhoef is finally hanging up the gloves at the ripe old age of 46
Photo by Daniela Parra Saiani/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

At the age of 46, striking aficionado Melvin Manhoef has just retired from MMA following a third round knockout loss to the always scary Yoel Romero at Bellator 285.

After 28 incredible years, Manhoef is departing from the sport with an honorable record of 32-16-1-2. Some of Manhoef’s achievements include being the K-1 HERO’S: Grand Prix 2006 tournament champion, Cage Rage light heavyweight champion, and a two-time Bellator MMA Middleweight challenger.

Watch this clip of an emotional Melvin Manhoef signing off for the crowd one last time:

Manhoef came into MMA following a stout kickboxing career, and brought with him some rather sharp Dutch kickboxing skills that translated rather well with the little gloves. A beautiful blend of a pleasant demeanor outside of the ring, coupled with his ferocious temperament inside of competition, made him an instant fan favorite. Who could forget when he would be walked to the ring while wearing a collar and chain that was handled by his trainer? Not me! He was a true showman.

Melvin will forever be remembered as a savage, yet highly skilled, dog who was always willing to go out on his shield. One of his most epic knockouts came when he one punched KO’d Mark Hunt back in 2008, when the legendary chin of Hunt was as rock solid as ever. He also finished big names like Kazushi Sakuraba and Stefan Leko, and shared the ring/cage with fellow legends like Tyrone Spong, Ray Sefo, Gegard Mousasi, Robbie Lawler, Tim Kennedy, Gokhan Saki — oh and let’s not forget competing against Remy Bonjasky THREE TIMES!

Out of 51 fights, Manhoef only went the distance six times. That means a Melvin Manhoef fight resulted in a finish in 88.2% of the time. That is absolutely bonkers for someone with that many bouts under their belt, and that’s just in MMA. Fighters like Melvin don’t really come around too often, so if you’re unfamiliar, I suggest you go back and watch the majority of his fights — it shouldn’t take that long.