The word is out: Alex Polizzi will officially replace Melvin Manhoef and face Yoel Romero at Bellator 280.
Manhoef, 45, was forced to pull out from his fight after a recent incident that involved an attempted burglary near his home in the Netherlands. Three men tried to raid his house but the MMA fighter was able to capture them before they even got in.
With the three burglars hiding in their car, Manhoef smashed the window with his bare hand and sustained a, for his fight, devastating injury. With his hand stitched up, the Dutch veteran fighter had hoped for a swift recovery to face another veteran in the sport but will now have to sit tight and recover.
It was expected that his upcoming fight against Romero would become Manhoef’s final fight for Bellator, the organisation he joined in 2019, and would have been particularly exciting given both men’s resumes. Manhoef still holds the highest percentage of securing his wins via knock-out (29 out of 32). However, it remains now to be seen whether this fight will ever happen.
Polizzi, who is chasing his 11th win in 12 fights and is coming into this on short notice but on a three-fight winning streak, is seen by many as a rising star in the sport and is a worthy replacement for the Dutchman. The fight takes place May 6 at AccorHotels Arena in Paris.