Fedor Emelianenko is perfect for Bellator Heavyweight tournament said by Scott Coker.
The Bellator MMA World Grand Prix 2018 approaches and the promotion will host the eight-man heavyweight tournament. However, the winner of this heavyweight tournament will earn the vacant Bellator title.
The multi-event and yearlong grand tournament kicks off in January, with four veteran heavyweights and four light heavyweights taking part in the event.
The company has been without an official heavyweight king, despite having names like Fedor Emelianenko, Matt Mitrione, and Roy Nelson on the roster. The last man to have belt around his waist in Bellator was Russian fighter Vitaly Minakov, and Coker made the call to strip Minakov of the belt in May 2016 for failing to defend the title.
The “GOAT” Fedor Emelianenko signed with Bellator MMA, and his first round bout will be against former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir. Emelianenko hasn’t fought since a loss to Matt Mitrione in Bellator’s inaugural event in New York City last year.
Bellator President Scott Coker recently speaking with Kevin Iole, explains why this tournament is the perfect setting for the MMA Legend.
“When you talk about heavyweights, like with Mitrione, they both punch each other in the face, knock each other down, Mitrione got up a little faster . . . and then he finished Fedor,” said Coker (transcript courtesy of MMA Fighting). “But it could easily went the other way. Yes, guys that are fighting into their thirties should not be fighting 21-year-old kids like he was doing in the past but this is the perfect tournament for him.
“He wanted to come in. He said to me – through Jerry, the translator – I know that this is the fourth quarter for me and I want to compete, and I would love to be Bellator’s heavyweight world champion. When Fedor asks you that, what are you gonna do? Are you gonna say no? You have to say yes so we did and we gave him that respect and he’s gonna have an equal shot just like everybody else.”
“If you look at him and Frank Mir, Frank Mir’s coming off some losses, Fedor’s coming off some losses. This is kind of an equal fight in my mind and it’s gonna be great.”
Emelianenko was successful in Pride and is arguably the greatest heavyweight fighter of all-time. Fedor retired back in 2012, then made his come back after three years of hiatus.
“I believe that he hasn’t decided yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if he fought the tournament out and won the tournament, that he would retire the tournament champion and the heavyweight champion,” said Coker. “What a way to have a great send off.
“Or if he loses the first fight to Frank Mir and gets stopped, he might call it a day too.”
Emelianenko is set to meet former UFC champion Frank Mir in April in the opening round of the tournament. However, Mir is coming off of two losses straight in a row in the UFC and then released by the promotion after being suspended by USADA for a failed drug test.
Are you guys excited to see this tournament?