Yoel Romero and scary knockouts are a sight to behold for any MMA fan. Even at the age of 45 the ‘Soldier of God’ is putting in violent performances.
On Friday, Romero knocked out Manhoef in the third round in the co-main event of Bellator 285, which took place at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland. In the co-main event of Bellator 285, the multiple-time UFC title challenger defeated Melvin Manhoef. In the third round of their light heavyweight fight, Romero (15-6 MMA, 2-1 BMMA) stopped Manhoef (32-16-1 MMA, 4-5 BMMA) with a brutal ground-and-pound.
Romero dropped Manhoef early in the first round with a leg kick and then followed him to the ground. From there, the former UFC title contender dominated the action with ground-and-pound. After a few minutes of control, Romero locked an Americana but was unable to complete it. He kept Manhoef under his control until the bell rang.
The second round was much more visually appealing. Both fighters exchanged blows at a slow pace, but it was still entertaining. They were packing a lot of punch into their shots. Romero appeared to have the better shots and more volume. Manhoef's output appeared to be hampered by the threat of a takedown.
The third appeared to be another standup battle, but Romero closed the gap and took down Manhoef against the cage three minutes in. He remained patient from half-guard and landed powerful shots. As the strikes began to pile up, the referee was forced to call a halt to the fight. Romero had put on a dominant performance.
Following the defeat, Manhoef announced his retirement from MMA.
“I didn’t want to fight a nobody,” Manhoef said post-fight before taking his gloves off and resting them down in the center of the cage. “I wanted to fight names, and I did the best that I could. For 28 years, I’m doing this, this is what I love, and I appreciate all the support that you gave me. But today, I think I have to hang up the gloves after 28 years of fighting. Thanks for the support, you make my life great, you let me feel alive.”
Let us know what you think of Romero’s performance at Bellator 285? Can he still hunt for the title at Light Heavyweight?