Emelianenko will return to the cage on October 9. The action will be held inside the VTB Arena in Moscow, Russia. There were many names who were reportedly in the sweepstakes to fight Emelianenko. Those names included Alistair Overeem, dos Santos, and even PFL‘s Fabricio Werdum. In the end, it’s Timothy Johnson who will be getting the fight.
During an interview with MMAFighting.com, dos Santos admitted he’s a bit perplexed by the booking.
“Not trying to sound disrespectful or anything like that, but at first I was very hopeful that I would be a great option for Fedor, to close his career. My idea is that he wanted a great fight, a fight that really interested the fans and made people excited to watch. That would be the case with options like myself, Overeem, and even Werdum. I was imagining something along those lines, something that made sense in my head, but it was completely the opposite of what I was imagining.
“He ended up choosing Tim Johnson. I don’t know how the fight will go, I’m not judging anything, but I believe it would be way more interesting, or at least would get a bit more attention, if it were Overeem, Werdum, me, Josh Barnett. He’s the greatest champion in heavyweight history, I’m a fan of Fedor, but, for his last fight, [I thought] he probably wanted to gift fans with a super fight, one that called the attention of the entire world, but it wasn’t the path he followed. I don’t understand why, but it was a bit disappointing, I can’t say it wasn’t.”
For dos Santos, he’s hoping to link up with another promotion after being released by the UFC. He had been with the promotion since 2008 and is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion.
Emelianenko was last seen in action back in December 2019. He stopped Quinton “Rampage” Jackson via first-round TKO. Emelianenko is in the midst of his “retirement tour” but he hasn’t committed to hanging up his gloves once the tour wraps up.
Are you as disappointed with Fedor Emelianenko’s Bellator Moscow opponent as Junior dos Santos is?