I Am Scared of Melvin Manhoef: Middleweight KO Stud To Watch in '09

Jared RussellCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2009

Melvin Manhoef may not be on most people's fighters-to-watch list, and he certainly isn't in any sort of top-10 rankings lists, but he is by far the most physically powerful middleweight currently in MMA.

Manhoef is not a technical, well-rounded fighter like Anderson Silva, or even Gegard Mousasi. What Manhoef is instead is 185lbs of pure brawling muscle.

Physically intimidating, Manhoef is built like a 200lb bodybuilder and throws punches and kicks that border on the speed of light.

Possessing knockout power that topples even the mightiest heavyweights, this MMA and K-1 veteran is looking to make a name for himself in 2009.

On New Year's Eve, Manhoef shocked the world with a stunning KO of Mark Hunt, whom many fans around the world had though was un-KO'able.

Reminiscent of the momentous Frank Mir KO of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Manhoef KO'ed someone who held a reputation of having a legendary chin.

However, where the two differ is the fact that Mark Hunt was two weight classes ahead of Manhoef, and Nogueira was the same weight class as Mir.

Manhoef has KO'd 22 people in all of his 23 wins in MMA, this impressive record has led fighters like Gegard Mousasi to label him the "mini Mike Tyson."

People fear Manhoef's power, which is why three of his five losses have come by submission.

With a potential to KO just about anyone, Manhoef could become an interesting fighter to watch in 2009. Should Manhoef tighten up his ground game, Dana White could have a real prospect to look at.

It should be interesting to see if any major U.S. promotions looks to snatch him up, namely the UFC. With Manhoef's killer instinct and unreal power he may be a challenge that Anderson Silva could find worthy to fight.