Fedor Emelianenko likely to face a former UFC star on Bellator return
Bellator heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko (36-5-1) has sent the MMA fraternity in a frenzy after announcing his return to the octagon after a two-year gap. The Russian, who has been regarded as one of the best heavyweights in MMA, will highlight the main event when Bellator takes place in Russia for the first time on October 23. Emelianenko last fought and defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson with a first-round TKO in 2019.
Bellator president Scott Coker is poised to see Fedor Emelianenko take on either Alistair Overeem or Junior Dos Santos. Coker is currently in talks with the management of both ex-UFC fighters.
The Demolition Man parted ways with the UFC in May 2021 after 10 years of cold blows, bloody ground and pound, and insane knockouts.
As for former UFC champ Dos Santos (21-9), the UFC released him this March following his three-fight losing streak. The heavyweight lost all three of his last fights in 2020 to Ciryl Gane, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Curtis Blaydes.
In case both MMA veterans don’t take the Fedor fight, the Bellator boss has revealed that he will get 43-year-old Josh Barnett to take on the Russian juggernaut. Barnett signed with the Bellator in 2019 but hasn’t since landed a single fight. He last entered an octagon for UFC Fight Night 93 in 2016 where he defeated Andrei Arlovski via submission.