With four words in the above video, Melvin Manhoef explains why he's such a popular K-1 and MMA fighter -- and why he's also a fairly limited fighter who wins plenty of fights by exciting knockout but also loses plenty of fights to more tactical opponents.
The four words: "F**k the game plan."
Manhoef will fight Remy Bonjasky on Saturday in the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 in Seoul, and in an interview with K-1 broadcaster Michael Schiavello, Manhoef explains that while he knows he needs to have an effective game plan in order to beat a great opponent like Bonjasky, he also knows that when it comes time to fight, his nature is to disregard his game plan and turn it into a brawl.
"I'm going to keep on my game plan -- try to keep on my game plan," Manhoef said. "But if he's going to hit me hard or something, I'm going to go ballistic again and then it's f**k that. F**k the game plan and we're going to fight. ... We have to fight. We are fighters. We are gladiators. We have to come into the ring and fight."
Manhoef mentions that he sees a distinction between himself as a "fighter," and Bonjasky as a "sportsman." I see that distinction, too: Bonjasky doesn't just enter the ring planning to throw as many haymakers as he can; he enters the ring with a strategy for winning the fight. The distinction between those two approaches is why Manhoef is a more popular fighter, but it's also why Bonjasky is already 2-0 against Manhoef, and is likely to improve to 3-0 on Saturday.
The K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 will air live on HDNet at 3:30 a.m. Saturday. If you follow K-1, follow me on Twitter @MichaelDavSmith.