Yoel Romero ensured Melvin Manhoef will not get his happy ending.
“The Soldier of God” scored a devastating third-round knockout of Manhoef on Friday in the co-main event of Bellator 285, which took place at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland.
After a measured first two rounds, Romero (15-6) upped his activity in Round 3, taking his 46-year-old foe down along the fence, then blasting him with huge punches and elbows that ultimately left Manhoef unconscious on the mat. The official time of the stoppage was 3:34 of the final round. Afterward, Manhoef announced his retirement from MMA.
Watch replay of Romero’s finish above.
“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.”
Manhoef retires with a 32-16-1 MMA record highlighted by knockout wins over Mark Hunt, Kazushi Sakuraba, Kazuo Misaki, and more. He made his MMA debut in 1995.