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Melvin Manhoef isn't 100 percent focused on ‘Cyborg' rematch

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Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Melvin Manhoef vs. Evangelista Santos 2 will finally happen, but the long-time MMA and kickboxing veteran admits he’s not 100 percent focused on the fight.

Manhoef takes on "Cyborg" on Sunday night in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at Gringo Super Fight 10 main event for the vacant welterweight title, but he had to split his camp in two, as he prepares to enter the ring at Glory 17’s middleweight tournament on June 21.

"This has really been a problem because if I do too much on the ground, I miss my hard training for the Glory tournament," Manhoef told "It was very hard. My weight cut was from (224 pounds) and I dropped (to 170). It was hard, but this is my job and what we do."

Manhoef will need to pay attention to the ground game against "Cyborg," but he expects "fireworks" as in the first bout. Manhoef, who battled Santos at Cage Rage 15 in 2004 in one of the greatest wars in the history of the sport, expects another finish.

"I’m going to wait for my moment and go for the knockout," he said. "I prepared well in everything. I’m well prepared. Over the last couple years I’ve been working on my ground game, so let’s see what’s going to happen. I have to win.

"This is the fourth time I’m fighting someone from Chute Boxe, and I won three times via knockout already, and I hope I can do it again. Their stand up is always good, and Cyborg’s stand up is great. We will see what’s going to happen."

Manhoef topped the Brazilian eight years ago, and he’s not sure he will try to stand against him again.

"I don’t know what he’s gonna do, but if he wanna make a nice fight that people can enjoy it we will go and do the stand up," he said. "But if he wanna go to the ground I’m no black belt (in jiu-jitsu), but the ground game is not only choking people. It’s MMA, so we will see."

Manhoef fought for K-1, Strikeforce, One FC and Dream, but he’s not worried about what a win over "Cyborg" would make for his MMA career. Coming off back-to-back losses, he just wants to have his hands raised after the fight.

"Every fight is a fight and can bring you back on track," he said. "This is also a win that I want and need, so it’s good for me. I wanna win this fight and be back on track."