Earlier this year, heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko was expected to make his first steps into the Bellator MMA cage. His opponent in this Bellator debut was supposed to be dangerous UFC veteran Matt Mitrione. Regrettably, Mitrione was forced out of the fight at the very last minute with a bout of kidney stones.
With this disappointing twist of fate, it looked as though Bellator would attempt to rebook a Fedor vs. Mitrione bout for sometime later in the year. Apparently, however, these plans might have been axed.
According to a report from Izvestia.ru (via Karim Zidan), Bellator is no longer attempting to reschedule the two dangerous heavyweights, and is instead targeting three other fighters as opponents for Fedor’s Bellator debut. These fighters are Cheick Kongo, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Joey Beltran.
According to Izvestia.ru, Bellator is no longer planning to rebook Fedor vs Mitrione. Kongo, Rampage, and Beltran possible replacements.
— Karim Zidan (@ZidanSports) March 20, 2017
Kongo currently stands out as the top heavyweight on the Bellator roster, having gone 8-2 since joining the promotion in 2013. His only losses have come against top opposition in former champ Vitaly Minakov and beefed-up light heavyweight star Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal. Kongo is currently on a four fight streak, having recently bested Alexander Volkov, Vinicius “Spartan”, Tony Johnson and most recently, British veteran Oli Thompson.
Rampage, meanwhile, stands out as one of the best light heavyweights on the Bellator roster, having not lost in any of his four bouts with the promotion. He is currently scheduled for a heavyweight rematch with “King Mo.” What this rematch means for a possible fight with Fedor is not known.
Beltran, finally, is a UFC veteran, just like Kongo and Rampage. He has been hot and cold as a Bellator fighter, going 3-5 in bouts at heavyweight, light heavyweight and middleweight.
Which of these fighters do you think would make the best opponent for Fedor Emelianenko? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/20/2017.