Keeping it a secret from Dream officials, Melvin Manhoef fought on the recent DREAM.3 card on Sunday night in Japan, only a couple of weeks removed from surgery.
Manhoef fought and lost by way of knockout to Remy Bonjasky on April 26 in Amsterdam. The bout was part of the K-1 World Grand Prix 2008, fought under K-1 kickboxing rules.
On Sunday, May 11, in Saitama, Manhoef then fought under mixed martial arts rules, defeating Korean fighter Dae Won Kim in the first round of their fight at DREAM.3.
In his post-fight interview following the MMA bout, Manhoef revealed, "I didn't tell either Dream or K-1, but I was injured in my last fight against Remy Bonjasky. Because I received a lot of kicks and punches in the ribs, I had to have surgery to take out blood from behind the lung and I was hospitalized for seven days. So, I couldn't fight as aggressively as I wanted, I needed to be patient."
Following his hospitalization in the Netherlands, Manhoef effectively had no time to prepare for Kim, but was able to finish him by TKO midway through the first round.
He now expects to start preparing for DREAM.4, scheduled for June 15, again at the Saitama Super Arena.
The bout with Kim was a reserve bout for the middleweight grand prix. Manhoef could be called upon to step into the actual tournament should another fighter, such as the injured Kiyoshi Tamura, be unable to compete.