(Melvin Manhoef highlight reel, via StillW1ll)
After his decision loss to Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza in August, Strikeforce middleweight contender Tim Kennedy has had quite an adventure finding his next opponent. First, everybody in the world was ducking him. Then, he was slated to have a tie-breaker match with Jason "Mayhem" Miller. Then, Strikeforce decided to nix that idea and put Kennedy up against exciting prospect Luke Rockhold, who has been inactive for a year due to a shoulder injury. Well, that’s off now too. Due to a reported leg injury suffered in training, Rockhold has been forced to withdraw from his meeting with Kennedy at Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson (March 5th; Columbus, OH). Replacing him? None other than balls-to-the-wall striker Melvin Manhoef.
Manhoef has one of the most impressive finishing percentages in MMA, with 23 of his 24 career victories coming by way of KO/TKO. However, he’s lost four of his last six fights — three by way of submission, and one by Hail Mary KO at the hands of Robbie Lawler. Manhoef last competed at Dream.15 in July, when he lost to Tatsuya Mizuno by kimura. Kennedy’s keys to victory are very simple: Slow the pace down, check (or dodge) Melvin’s brutal leg kicks, and get the fight to the ground as soon as possible. Let’s hope this is the last opponent swap for Kennedy, because we’re actually kind of psyched to see this one go down.