Bellator is coming to Madison Square Garden and pay-per-view, and the June 15th show now has a co-main event. The New York Post is reporting that a heavyweight bout between Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione has been re-booked for the card, under the headliner between Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen.
Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC, 0-0 Bellator) and Mitrione (11-5, 2-0 Bellator) were scheduled to meet last month, but kidney stones forced Mitrione out at the last second. The bout will be Emelianenko’s debut in the promotion.
Mitrione offered a quote to The Post about the fight booking:
“I’m so excited to come back to the East Coast and compete again. I spent two years with the New York Giants, all my family is out there and I’m ecstatic that they will get to be there and watch me punch the greatest heavyweight of all time in the face,” Mitrione said. “Not to mention, it’s just the cherry on top that it’s at MSG, the mecca of combat sports.”
Emelianenko is coming off a controversial win over Fabio Maldonado in Russia last June. Mitrione has won both of his Bellator fights since coming over from the UFC, most recently stopping Oli Thompson last July.
The event will be the first Bellator has run in New York since the state legalized MMA. The card is also expected to host the promotional debut of newly-signed light heavyweight Ryan Bader, who could fight 205-pound champion Phil Davis at the show.