Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef, the veteran K-1 kickboxer, former Strikeforce and DREAM MMA fighter recently signed with Bellator—reuniting with his former boss, Scott Coker. The knockout artist has competed in multiple weight classes in both sports, ranging from heavyweight to welterweight. Manhoef has 26 knockouts on his MMA record in 28 career victories—the most impressive knockout being against heavyweight Mark Hunt.
Manhoef last competed in combat sports in July, losing a kickboxing match to Cesar Cordoba by TKO. Manhoef’s last MMA bout came in April, when he defeated Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos by TKO in just 46 seconds.
Doug “The Rhino” Marshall, a former middleweight title challenger and Bellator tournament winner, returns from a suspension as a result of him testing postitive for a banned substance in his previous fight against the Bellator middleweight champion, Alexander Shlemenko.
Marshall last competed in November of 2013, losing a first round TKO to Shlemenko—his first loss in Bellator in 5 bouts. He earned his shot at the title by defeating Andreas Spang, Sultan Aliev, and Brett Cooper to win the season 8 middleweight tournament. Marshall began his career in WEC, becoming a WEC light heavyweight champion.
The two middleweights with a combined 38 knockouts shows a strong potential of fireworks when they step into the cage.
Bellator 125 will be held at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California on September 19th.
The four-fight main card airing on Spike TV also features the return of James Irvin (17-10) after a more than 2-year hiatus from the sports, he makes his Bellator debut against Brian Rogers (11-6).
The 21 year old prospect, Goiti Yamauchi (17-2) fresh off a win over Mike Richman, takes on Martin Stapleton (13-3), who is still looking for his first Bellator win in his 3rd bout.
And rounding out the main card are heavyweights, Javy Ayala (7-3) vs. the undefeated former boxer, Raphael Butler (8-0-1).
Bellator 125 Main Card:
- Melvin Manhoef vs. Doug Marshall
- James Irvin vs. Brian Rogers
- Goiti Yamauchi vs. Martin Stapleton
- Javy Ayala vs. Raphael Butler