Contrary to reports yesterday, there is in fact no deal in place for Melvin Manhoef to join the UFC.
Sources say that the talk was sparked by Manhoef training at the Black House gym with Lyoto Machida and also signing a management agreement with the team. Black House manager Jorge Guimares gave an interview in Brazil in which he mentioned his desire to see Manhoef join the UFC welterweight division, and this was mistakenly picked up as Guimares announcing that a deal had been done.
However, Fighters Only has been able to confirm that no deal has been done and that Manhoef, while on the radar, isn’t a top target. A relative unknown outside the US hardcore fanbase, Manhoef generally has spectacularly violent fights but wouldn’t be a pay-per-view draw, at least initially.
That said, well-placed sources say that it is still entirely possible Manhoef could find himself getting a contract thanks to his new association with Machida.
While UFC matchmaker Joe Silva is infamously immune to influence or leverage, other members of the UFC top brass have been known to make signings on a whim or to smooth a negotiation.
Manhoef is certainly in the fight place - Black House is also home to middleweight champion Anderson Silva - and now he just needs to find the right time. If he can catch Dana White backstage on a good day, he might find himself signing some paperwork after all.