Tim Johnson Reveals Fedor Emelianenko Chose Him As Opponent For Bellator Moscow

For Tim Johnson, the fighter is – quite frankly – the chosen one.

Johnson (15-7) is going head-to-head with Emelianenko (39-6) in his rival’s homecoming bout on October 23. In an interview, Johnson said it was the Russian fighter who actually chose him as his rival.

“I honestly didn’t even think I was going to be in the neighborhood of getting it, initially. I heard the same names everyone else did,” Johnson said.

“… Since the announcement, there’s been a lot of people – it’s been not received with open arms, I guess you could say. Well, here it is: Fedor watched me fight for 25 minutes up close and personal (against Moldavsky). The same list everyone was talking about, Fedor has in front of him. He had a say in the matchmaking.”

Since Bellator announced the event in Moscow, there were lots of rumors about Emelianenko’s opponent. Some people assumed that his opponent would be Alistair Overeem, Junior Dos Santos, or other stars like them.

The last time Johnson fought was at Bellator 261.

He headlined in the event in a heavyweight clash against Valentin Moldavsky. They fought all five rounds, and but Moldavsky defeated him via unanimous decision.

Before that loss, Johnson fought three times in 2020 and won in all of them. Two of these victories were via first-round KO.

The last time Emelianenko graced the octagon was 2019. He fought against legendary Quinton Jackson, known as Rampage, and defeated him via TKO in the first round.

“It’s either one of two routes: He picked me because he thinks he can knock me out right away. I don’t want to think that way. I think he picked me because Fedor’s a warrior. He has a warrior mentality. … I’ll bring the fight to him,” Johnson added. “He’s not going to get a guy who is going in there to just have a name to fight Fedor. He knows he’s going to have a fight.”

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