Who will Fedor Emelianenko be combating when he returns to Bellator?
MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko is anticipated to announce his return to the cage at a press convention on June 25, in keeping with a report by Ariel Helwani on Thursday. The 44-year-old Russian final competed at Bellator 237 in December 2019 when he defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson through first-round TKO.
The panorama within the Bellator heavyweight division has modified significantly since Emelianenko final fought. At the moment, there are solely two males within the division’s high 10 that Emelianenko has shared a cage with prior to now. Each Matt Mitrione and former heavyweight champion Ryan Bader maintain victories over the MMA legend.
That leaves lots of prospects for Emelianenko in his return.
Since signing with Bellator in 2013, the 46-year-old Cheick Kongo has gone 12-3. He most just lately competed at Bellator 248 in October 2020, the place he was on the flawed finish of a detailed cut up resolution loss to interim heavyweight title challenger Tim Johnson. A battle between Emelianenko and Kongo could be a wild journey so long as it lasted. With Kongo nonetheless below contract, this battle looks like it might get performed with ease as long as each males obliged.
We’re nonetheless ready for Yoel Romero to make his Bellator debut. Sadly, the Brazilian was compelled to withdraw from his gentle heavyweight event bout in opposition to Anthony Johnson earlier this 12 months. Maybe that is the silver lining. A battle between Emelianenko and Romero would generate a ton of buzz. Whereas Romero has competed principally at middleweight and light-weight heavyweight throughout his profession, he has at all times struggled to chop the copious quantity of weight wanted to make the division’s limits. Each males bodily match up nicely; each stand at an excellent six foot. And at heavyweight, neither fighter would wish to deplete themselves to make weight.
Xtreme Couture’s Johnson is driving a three-fight profitable streak. Johnson is the No. 1 ranked heavyweight in Bellator and will probably be combating Workforce Emelianenko’s Valentin Moldavsky for the interim heavyweight championship on June 25. If the 36-year-old Johnson can defeat Moldavsky, then a possible battle with Emelianenko himself would solely make sense. Not solely might Emelianenko avenge his teammate’s loss (allowing Moldavsky loses), however an interim championship might be on the road. In fact, Johnson must maintain enterprise at Bellator 261 on June 25 for this state of affairs to play out.