WFL has announced the first round match-ups of their first-ever 16-man elimination tournament. In a press conference, hosted by Marloes Coenen, the undercard was presented for WFL: The Last 16, which is headlined by the fight between Melvin Manhoef and Remy Bonjasky.
Manhoef, who retires from kickboxing after the event on October 29, and Bonjasky are officially part of the tournament, but both said they will vacate their quarterfinal spot if they reach it.
The two kickboxing veterans got into it verbally during the press conference and staredown, with Bonjasky making fun of Manhoef’s height and “No Mercy” saying he’s a real fighter for taking on the much taller and heavier Bonjasky and stepping on a chair to look the three-time K-1 World Grand-Prix winner in the eyes.
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“You know what makes me special?,” Manhoef yelled while standing face-to-face with Bonjasky, “because I’m 1.74 meters, 1.76 meters with my f*cking slippers. I f*cking weigh 80 kilograms, but I still come to your f*cking league and ‘drive’ you. I don’t care!”
“Let’s say you’re special, but if you wanna play with the big boys, you shouldn’t whine about it,” Bonjasky reacted a lot more controlled. “If you wanna play with the big guys, you should also act like one. But you still act small!”
It will be the fourth meeting of the veterans, with Bonjasky winning the three previous encounters. “The Flying Gentleman” comes out of retirement for this fight after hanging up the gloves in 2014.
Manhoef will retire as a kickboxer, but remains on the active roster as a MMA fighter for Bellator MMA.
Six of the other seven match-ups were also announced, with Andrei Stoica from Romania still awaiting an opponent. Manhoef, founder of WFL, also did the matchmaking of this K-1 grand-prix style tournament and made the following matches:
Levi Rigters vs Redouan Cairo
Reamon Welboren vs Sam Tevette
Serkan Ozcaglayan vs Fabio Kwasi
Fred Sikking vs Boy Boy Martin
Tarik Khbabez vs Nordine Maheidinne
Henriques Zowa vs Murat Aygun