Paulo Filho is back, and Melvin Manhoef is still a one-dimensional kickboxer. That's what we learned when the two middleweights put together a very entertaining couple minutes of MMA at Dream 10.
Manhoef, a muscular Dutchman who's also a popular K-1 kickboxer, was absolutely destroying Filho on his feet early in the fight, dropping Filho and landing such powerful strikes that the referee would have been justified in stopping the bout to protect Filho.
But Filho, a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, managed to get Manhoef to the ground, and from there it was just a matter of time before Filho caught Manhoef in an armbar. Manhoef went from dominating the first two minutes of the fight to tapping out 2:35 into the first round. Filho has now won six of his last 10 fights by submission via armbar, and overall he's 17-1 in his MMA career. Manhoef falls to 23-6-1, including 0-4 in fights that end by submission.
Not long ago, Filho was the World Extreme Cagefighting middleweight champion and a consensus Top 5 middleweight in the world. But Filho has had problems with depression and drug addiction, and after he lost a bizarre, boring decision to Chael Sonnen in his final WEC fight last year, there were questions about whether his head would ever be in the right place.
Now Filho looks like he wants to fight again, and that's a great thing to see. When Filho is on his game, he's one of the best in the world, and at age 31, he still has some big fights left in him.