Heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko could fight Josh Barnett, Junior dos Santos, or Alistair Overeem, says Bellator president Scott Coker.
It was revealed last week that Emelianenko will be returning to action on October 23 when he headlines Bellator’s first-ever event in Moscow, Russia. Although “The Last Emperor” is now 44 years old — and he will be 45 by the next time he fights — he is still one of the most accomplished and respected mixed martial artists of all time, and anytime he fights, it’s a big deal. Although Emelianenko will return to the cage this fall, we do not know his opponent yet. However, we now have an idea of who could potentially be for him next.
Speaking to the media following Bellator 261, Coker admitted that while he hasn’t found the opponent yet, he mentioned Barnett, Dos Santos, and Overeem as potential foes.
“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 days ago. Alistair Overeem. The list goes on and on and on,” Coker said (via MMAjunkie.com).
Barnett and Emelianenko were supposed to fight in Affliction in 2009, but the fight was canceled, which led to the entire event being scrapped and the promotion falling apart. It’s now 12 years later and both men are no longer in their prime, but Barnett and Emelianenko both remain two of the most experienced heavyweights of all time, and this would certainly make for a good fight. As for dos Santos and Overeem, both former UFC heavyweights were recently cut by the world’s leading MMA promotion and are both free agents in mixed martial arts, though Overeem did recently sign with GLORY Kickboxing.
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