Recently signed Bellator stars Melvin Manhoef and Paul Daley could well be on a collision course. “No Mercy” is currently scheduled to face Doug “The Rhino” Marshall in his BMMA debut, at Bellator 125, and “Semtex” is yet to be booked to face anyone as he prepares for a September BAMMA bout opposite Igor Fernandes.
Speaking with The MMA Hour, Bellator president Scott Coker says that the bout between Manhoef and Daley would make sense:
“Paul, pending his September 12th fight in London, if he’s okay, we’re going to be fighting him in November here in America,” Coker said. “I can tell you the fight I’d like to put together. We had a conversation with Melvin Manhoef about dropping down in weight, so I’d like to put Manhoef vs. Daley together. So if [Manhoef] doesn’t get hurt, Paul doesn’t get hurt, we’ll put that fight together.”
Obviously the fight is dependant on both men emerging unscathed from their respective next outings, and you could say that was a rather ‘big if’ for Manhoef. The Dutch kickboxer faces in Marshall a man with big power. “The Rhino” has finished 12 of his 18 wins by T/KO, and that includes three from his most recent four victories.
When talking about KO power, you have to say that both Manhoef and Daley (as kickboxers and mixed martial artists) have scary capabilities. “No Mercy” has 53 combined knockouts, and “Semtex” totals 38. Coker also confirmed that the bout would likely take place in Daley’s 170-pound weight division, meaning Manhoef would be cutting from middleweight.
Now, although Bellator is still lacking in the big names, there are potential matches that have us talking. Also, in the absence of the tournament format & with the addition of the women’s featherweight class, things seem to be gaining momentum in the promotion that is arguably the UFC’s biggest competitor. Is this a sign of things to come, or the verbalized pipe dreams of a wishful promoter?