Heavyweight mixed martial arts legend Fedor Emelianenko will return to the Bellator cage later this year after an 18-month hiatus from the sport — but against whom?
Bellator CEO Scott Coker, who has a solid working relationship with Emelianenko, listed Josh Barnett, Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos as potential opponents, revealing that he has been in contact with all three men since ‘The Last Emperor’s’ surprise comeback announcement last week.
“Believe me, there is no shortage of opponents (for) Russia right now. Listen, the managers of all the free agents are calling. Josh Barnett was texting me today. I talked to (Junior Dos Santos’) manager a couple of days ago. Alistair Overeem. The list goes on and on and on,” Coker told MMA Junkie in a recent interview.
Emelianenko, who turns 45 in September, will return to the cage at an upcoming Bellator event in Moscow, Russia on October 23 against a TBA opponent. The former PRIDE champion is widely considered the greatest heavyweight fighter of all time, accumulating multiple world titles and beating legends such as Mirko Cro Cop, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Andre Arlovski. The enigmatic Russian last fought at Bellator 237, where he knocked out former UFC light heavyweight champ Rampage Jackson in the second round.