Fans have wanted Fedor Emelianenko in the UFC for many, many years and it just never happened. Despite him being one of the greatest of all time, we never got to see him against arguably the best competition in the world’s biggest fighting organization. While we can’t turn back time and do it in Fedor’s prime, Scott Coker and Bellator’s heavyweight grand prix will give us a chance to see such a match-up. Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir is taking on the legend in one of the opening rounds and that’s just the type of big game Mir is hunting in his return to MMA.
First round match ups announced for @BellatorMMA heavyweight Grand Prix. I’m honored to be fighting #Fedor …A living legend that I’ve wanted to compete against for many years. #Bellator is going to finally make it happen 👊🏻💥#mma pic.twitter.com/2cfs2DxhS5
— Frank Mir (@thefrankmir) November 23, 2017
“It’s like being a big-game hunter. I don’t want to go out there and shoot a little quail. You want to take out the biggest and the baddest. I’ve seen so much more now, because I’ve watched so many countless hours of video of two guys fighting, actually breaking it down analytically. […] My mind has advanced even more so. It’s nice to be a fighter again. A little bit of limbo was the last year-and-a-half, not having a fight scheduled and not being able to participate. I finally get to fight again. It’s something that, when you don’t get to do what you love, it makes it even worse.” – Frank Mir speaking to MMA Junkie Radio.
Frank Mir, who hasn’t fought since his loss to Mark Hunt last year, will be in the running to capture at Bellator title at 38-years old. Only three fights potentially separate him from nabbing his first undisputed world title since UFC 48 in 2004. Kicking his big game hunt off with beating a GOAT candidate like Fedor would a great feather in his career cap and would give him a ton of confidence running down the gauntlet. The grand prix kicks off with Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson’s fight on January 20th.
“They told me the names that were in there and it looks like I’ll probably be lining up with Fedor [Emelianenko], hopefully in April . It’s a huge moment. I didn’t even sleep that night thinking about it, running it through my mind, watching videos, already starting to try to pick apart his different traits and gameplans. I even told the wife, ‘What if I take off for eight-to-ten weeks and I got to Chechnya or something, Grozny, go through a training camp and really just take this as seriously as I’ve even taken any fight in my life.[…] It’s going to be interesting to finally see us face off. — Frank Mir on his own Phone Booth Fighting podcast.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/24/2017