Bellator president Scott Coker has revealed three potential opponents for the return of Fedor Emelianenko, including a former UFC champion.
This comes after the MMA legend announced that he would be returning to the cage for Bellator’s historic debut in Russia on October 23.
Emelianenko, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time, will be making his 46th appearance in the sport. It’ll be his first fight since a first-round TKO victory over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at Bellator 237 in 2019.
Since the announcement, talk has turned to who “The Last Emperor” will face in what could be one of his final appearances in MMA. At the culmination of Bellator 261, Scott Coker suggested that the promotion isn’t short of names coming forward for the main event spot.
Speaking during the post-fight press conference, Coker revealed that he’d been in contact with two former UFC heavyweight stars, including a former champion, over the opportunity to face the Russian.
MMA Junkie’s Nolan King shared Coker’s statement via Twitter.
“Scott Coker says he’s talking to both Alistair Overeem’s team and Junior Dos Santos’ team (among others) about the Fedor matchup. A lot of hands have been raised, he says. #Bellator261”
The two UFC legends named were released by the promotion following recent defeats. After making a final push for UFC gold off the back of wins over Walt Harris and Augusto Sakai, Alistair Overeem was torn apart by one half of this weekend’s UFC Vegas 30 main event, Alexander Volkov.
Junior dos Santos, meanwhile, fell to a fourth consecutive defeat against Ciryl Gane at UFC 256 last December. “Cigano” had previously held the UFC Heavyweight Championship after knocking out Cain Velasquez in 2011. Dos Santos has certainly faced the best in his career and it would be no surprise to see him look to add Fedor to his illustrious record.
Coker further added Josh Barnett to the mix, stating that “The Warmaster” had sent him a text asking to be considered for the fight.
“Scott Coker says he also spoke to Josh Barnett this morning via text about the Fedor fight. #Bellator261”
Barnett is yet to make an appearance since signing with Bellator in 2019. The 43-year-old hasn’t fought in MMA since his submission victory over Andrei Arlovski at UFC Fight Night 93 in 2016.
Although plans are far from becoming finalized, it appears Coker and Emelianenko will be spoilt for choice when choosing his upcoming opponent.
Who would you like to see Fedor Emelianenko face on October 23?