K-1, Dream and Strikeforce veteran Melvin Manhoef successfully captured the inaugural Gringo Super Fight welterweight title when he stopped Evangelista Santos with strikes early in the main event of the evening on Sunday night.
Unlike their first encounter under the Cage Rage banner back in February of 2006, a back-and-forth slugfest, "No Mercy" quickly dropped Santos with a knee and finished him with hard punches.
According to MMA Fighting, "Cyborg" contested the stoppage, stating the knee that dropped him was illegal, but Manhoef disagreed.
"I don’t know why (he protested), but I believe the knee was legal," Manhoef said. "I’m okay to rematch him again."
A screencap from when the knee landed seems to show that the strike in question was indeed by the book.
While Manhoef is just 1-2 in his past three matchups, he is 4-2 in his last six matchups, and three of those victories came via knockout.
Santos, a former Strikeforce title challenger, drops to just 1-3 in his last four fights and hasn't won consecutive fights since 2010.
Shortly after the contest ended, ex-WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho unexpectedly entered the cage and challenged Manhoef to another rematch with the belt on the line.
That title bout is expected to take place sometime in November. Filho won their July 2009 contest with an armbar midway through the first round.
Once considered one of the pound-for-pound greats in the sport, the Brazilian submission specialist is now a once seemingly unfathomable 1-4-2 in his past seven fights.
While the 37-year-old Manhoef may never fight inside the Octagon, he remains one of the most entertaining strikers outside of the world's premiere mixed martial arts organization.
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