Dutch striker Melvin Manhoef showed that he still has knockout power. | File photo: Taro Irei/Sherdog.com
NOVA IGUACU, Brazil -- Welterweights Melvin Manhoef and Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos squared off for the second time Sunday in the main event of Gringo Super Fight 10.
The fighters first met as light heavyweights in a memorable 2006 duel, with the Dutchman scoring a second-round knockout to defend his Cage Rage title. On Sunday, however, there was not much time for the crowd on hand at club RioSampa to enjoy the show.
Santos went straight at Manhoef early in the fight but was dropped by a punch and then hit with a knee. The ever-aggressive Manhoef bombed his fallen opponent with ground-and-pound to finish the fight, though Santos resisted and tried to defend himself. Santos’ efforts were not enough for referee Artur Mariano, who stopped the contest, much to the dismay of the Chute Boxe fighter. Santos left the cage in disgust, complaining of an illegal knee strike.
“I’m not staying. I’m going to the locker room,” Santos fumed. “I was hurt. I was on my knees with my hand on the ground!”
The strike in question occurred quickly, a difficult foul to confirm for those who saw the action in real time, and Chute Boxe coach Rudimar Fedrigo asked organizers to watch an instant replay. In the end, referee Mariano upheld the 46-second stoppage.
After being presented with the Gringo Super Fight welterweight title, Manhoef was challenged by former WEC champion Paulo Filho, who climbed into the cage for a tense stare-down. That match is expected to take place at the Gringo Super Fight’s November event, according to promoter Antonio “Gringo” Tolentino. Manhoef and Filho previously faced off in July 2009, with Filho claiming a first-round armbar victory in the ring of Japan’s now-defunct Dream organization.
Alan Oliveira contributed to this report.