Melvin Manhoef considering retirement after Bellator 285: ‘It’s painful to quit’

·2 min read
Melvin Manhoef considering retirement after Bellator 285: ‘It’s painful to quit’

Melvin Manhoef’s remarkable journey in combat sports could soon come to an end.

The former two-time Bellator title challenger and kickboxing standout is heavily considering retiring after his next fight. Manhoef (32-15-1 MMA, 4-4 BMMA) returns to the cage Sept. 23 in the co-main event of Bellator 285 in Dublin, Ireland. He takes on former UFC contender Yoel Romero.

Manhoef revealed to MMA Junkie Radio that his bout against Romero is the final fight on his Bellator contract –  and it might also be the final fight of his career.

“This is the last fight on the contract of Bellator,” Manhoef said. “And yeah, if this fight is ended, then yeah, I think I’m going to call it quits, because I’m 46 years old, and I think it’s also time for the next generation.”

Manhoef is not ready to 100 percent commit to retirement but believes there’s a good chance he stops competing after Bellator 285. He believes he’s still game, even at 46, but likes the idea of leaving his gloves on the Bellator stage.

“If Bellator had given me more fights, I’d be fighting every four months, because I like this. I really like this,” Manhoef explained. “It’s painful to quit, because I’m still banging with the guys, you know? I still knock the young guys out. In this training camp, I knocked a lot of guys out.

“So I still have it, so it’s a pain that it has to stop, but yeah, it is what it is. There’s a time for coming, and there’s a time to go. I’ve been doing this now for 28 or 29 years already.”


Yoel Romero plans to beat Melvin Manhoef at Bellator 285, then drop to middleweight

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Manhoef has competed all over the world and across many of the top promotions in MMA and kickboxing for decades. He’s fought under Bellator, Strikeforce, DREAM, One Championship, K-1, and many others.

And throughout his run, he’s faced some of the world’s best, including Robbie Lawler, Mark Hunt, Gegard Mousasi, Kazushi Sakuraba, Tim Kennedy, Corey Anderson, and others.

Manhoef said there’s a small chance he continues fighting after his Bellator run but doesn’t want to think about it as he’s focused on Romero.

“It could be, but I don’t think about it at the moment,” Manhoef said. “Now I think about Romero and my last fight in Bellator, and after that we’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie