Former Bellator MMA Heavyweight Grand Prix finalist and legendary heavyweight Fedor Emeilanenko is close to returning to action according to the President of the promotion, Scott Coker. During a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Coker revealed that Emeilanenko is preparing for a return to the cage and his opponent might be one of two former UFC heavyweights who were recently released from the promotion.
Coker told MMA Junkie that there is a possibility that Alistair Overeem or Junior dos Santos could be potential opponents for Fedor Emeilanenko but there might not be long-term contracts for the former UFC fighters, because they’ve shown everything they’re capable of throughout their career.
“We’re not going to sign these guys to, like, a two-year, six-fight deal or build them up. They’ve done everything. They’ve already proved themselves. They are legends of the sport already. But what I will say sis we do have legends of the sport here. If we go down the road, and we think a Fedor opponent will work, Alistair and Fedor will be very interesting to me. Junior dos Santos and Fedor will be very interesting to me.”
There’s history between Overeem and Emelianenko as they missed an opportunity to face each other during the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix back in 2011, and due to how the fights played out, they did not end up meeting each other inside the cage.
With possible opponents up in the air for Emelianenko, Coker says a return for the heavyweight legend could come late summer or early this fall. Back in 2020 Emeilanenko contracted COVID-19 which led to him being hospitalized, but he was released shortly after.
Fedor Emeilanenko has not competed since December of 2019 when he picked up a first-round TKO over Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at Bellator 237. The win for Emeilanenko came after he came up short in his attempt to win the Bellator MMA Heavyweight World Grand Prix as he suffered a first-round knockout from Ryan Bader who became the heavyweight champion with the win.
When Emeilanenko steps back inside the Bellator cage, it appears there’s a good change that he could have another legendary opponent in what has been the story of his legendary career.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
With a special passion for interviewing and talking to the very best around the fight game, you can read or listen to Mike’s work across his multiple outlets.
Follow me on Twitter: @MP2310