Melvin Manhoef will face Tim Kennedy in Columbus March 5 live on Showtime

Melvin Manhoef (left) will face Tim Kennedy on March 5.

Due to an injured Luke Rockhold, Melvin Manhoef will step in to face Tim Kennedy in a middleweight bout on the “Strikeforce: Feijao vs. Henderson” fight card set for March 5 in Columbus, Ohio.

The event, which will coincide with the Arnold Sports Festival and feature two title fights, will broadcast live on Showtime from Nationwide Arena.

Manhoef (24-8-1) is returning to the Strikeforce cage for the second time. He suffered a first round knockout loss to Robbie Lawler in his debut with the promotion in January 2010.

Since then, he has fought once, losing to Tatsuya Mizuno via submission at DREAM 15 in July of last year. Manhoef’s career has been up and down following a fight-fight win streak in 2007-2008.

The K-1 Hero’s veteran is still one of the most dynamic and dangerous strikers in the game when he is “on”. Twenty-three of his 24 wins are by knockout.

Kennedy (12-3) returns to the Strikeforce cage following a unanimous decision middleweight title fight loss to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in August of last year. Prior to that, Kennedy had won four straight, with Strikeforce wins over Trevor Prangley, Zak Cummings and Nick Thompson.

The March 5 event will be headlined by a Strikeforce light heavyweight title fight between champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante and Dan Henderson and a women’s welterweight title fight between champion Marloes Coenen and Miesha Tate.

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