clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione headlines Bellator 172 in February

The legendary Fedor Emelianenko has signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA, which starts with a main event showdown vs. Matt Mitrione.

Bellator MMA

Bellator 165 is taking place tonight at the SAP Center in San Jose, California. Their next show in San Jose is set for Saturday, February 18th, and will mark the Bellator MMA debut of “The Last Emperor.”

As reported by FloCombat a few weeks ago, Fedor Emelianenko will be fighting UFC veteran Matt Mitrione. Bellator made the major announcement official during tonight’s broadcast, bringing out both Mitrione and Fedor (wearing his sweater!) for a staredown.

The 40-year-old Fedor (36-4, 1 NC) has fought just once this year, winning a highly controversial majority decision over Fabio Maldonado in the main event of EFN 50 back in June. Fedor was nearly knocked out in the opening round, with a strong argument that the fight should’ve been stopped. The decision itself was disputed, as observers of the bout felt that Maldonado had at least earned a draw, if not the outright victory. Emelianenko came out of a three-year retirement last year and easily dispatched Jaideep Singh in the inaugural Rizin FF show on New Year’s Eve.

Mitrione (11-5) signed with Bellator MMA in free agency, ending his seven-year stint in with the UFC, where he’d started his professional MMA career after competing on season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter. “Meathead” is 2-0 under the Bellator banner, rallying to knock out Carl Seumanutafa in June, then stopping England’s Oli Thompson in July.

Bellator MMA also noted that Fedor signed a multi-fight deal with them, so Scott Coker is back in the business of promoting one of MMA’s greatest ever fighters. Fedor fought 4 times under the Strikeforce banner from 2009-2011, but went 1-3, including the 2010 submission loss to Fabricio Werdum that snapped his ten-year unbeaten run.

In case you’re wondering, the UFC DOES have an event that weekend, but on Sunday, February 19th. So as far as high-level MMA is concerned, Fedor has February 18th all to himself.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bloody Elbow Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your MMA and UFC news from Bloody Elbow