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Our Prediction…Pain: Bellator Signs Melvin Manhoef (!) and Re-Signs Paul Daley


(Nope. Still terrified. Photo via Dorian Szücs/Groundandpound)

Now that Scott Coker is runnings things over at Bellator, it was only a matter of time before he started recruiting some of his old Strikeforce cronies over to help bolster the promotion’s somewhat lacking roster, and his first two signings are sure to deliver in the excitement department.

Today brings news that Bellator has signed kickboxer/MMA fighter/eater of worlds Melvin Manhoef and resigned Paul Daley to their roster. Presumably *not* to fight each other, for that would most certainly result in a black hole being ripped in the universe once their fists collided. In MMA competition alone, these two hard hitters have amassed over 50 knockouts between them, including particularly devastating KOs of Mark Hunt, Scott Smith, Dustin Hazelett, and Ian Freeman. Manhoef and Daley are fresh off knockout victories over Evangelista Santos and Romario Manoel da Silva, respectively.

As you might recall, Daley was axed from Bellator last July as a result of ongoing legal troubles and visa issues.”Semtex”, however, has assured us that both of those issues are now behind him, for the most part:

I don’t have the visa yet. But the charges that were against me and the problems I had with obtaining the visa, they weren’t major things. So I’ve spoken with the guys at Bellator, told them what was what, and they’re confident, the legal team is confident that this visa issue is not going to be a problem.

Daley’s previous Bellator appearance saw him score a first round TKO over Rudy Bears at Bellator 72. His last three Strikeforce appearances, however, did not go quite as smoothly — Daley was TKO’d by Nick Diaz in one of the greatest one-round fights of all time, then dropped decisions to Tyron Woodley and Kazuo Misaki. Another fun fact about Daley: He was a cast member of the 1987 film Sammy and Rosie Get Laid. The power of Wikipedia, ladies and gents.

Manhoef competed twice under the Strikeforce banner, with equally underwhelming results. His first appearance at Strikeforce: Miami saw him turn Robbie Lawler‘s leg into fish food, then somehow get KTFO’d in the first round. His second saw him drop a first round submission to Tim Kennedy. To my knowledge, Manhoef does not appear in the 1987 classic Sammy and Rosie Get Laid. 

I will now place the video of Manhoef vs. Lawler below, because it is undeniably awesome.

So yeah, Manhoef and Daley haven’t exactly thrived against upper-level competition in recent years, but they are two consistently entertaining fighters who could really push Bellator’s freakshow dynamic in the right direction given the right opponents. And that is something that we’re totally fine with.

Anyone you’d like to see Daley and Manhoef face off against first, Nation?

-J. Jones

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