‘The Last Emperor’ is back.
Bellator officials announced Friday that one of the sport’s best-ever heavyweight fighters, Fedor Emelianenko, 44, will return to the cage in October in what will be the Russian’s first fight since a 2019 win against Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson.
Emelianenko is set to headline Bellator’s debut show in Russia, which takes place on October 23 at the VTB Arena in Moscow. An opponent for the bout has yet to be announced.
Bellator chief Scott Coker says that he and his matchmakers are “going through the process” of selecting Emelianenko’s opponent and have so far composed a shortlist of a few names who might be suitable. So far though, Coker has remained tight-lipped as to their identities.
🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨
Bellator MMA President @ScottCoker has announced the promotion’s first-ever event in Moscow, Russia on Saturday, October 23rd headlined by the legendary Fedor Emelianenko 🇷🇺 pic.twitter.com/wm8OgcFNk7
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) June 25, 2021
In his run through the legendary PRIDE heavyweight division, Emelianenko announced himself as one of mixed martial arts’ biggest threats. His decade-long unbeaten streak is often cited as one of the most impressive runs in the history of the sport, as he went undefeated through 32 fights (with the exception of a fight which was stopped due to a cut early in his career).
His unbeaten streak was ended on a Strikeforce card when he was submitted by Fabricio Werdum in the summer of 2010 — the first of three successive defeats for the Russian, also including Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson. In the last decade, however, he has been defeated just twice, by Matt Mitrione and Ryan Bader, against noted wins opposite the likes of Chael Sonnen, Frank Mir and Quinton Jackson.