Fedor Emelianenko joins the Bellator ranks this weekend
Almost 2 months ago it was announced that Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko (36-4) would be making his Bellator debut. This was kept secret to the newly signed UFC Heavyweight veteran Matt “Meathead” Mitrione (11-5) when he signed with Bellator. It was revealed on Spike TV that these two heavyweights would be locking horns in the very near future. Well, that future is Saturday and these two will main event Bellator 172 from San Jose. Say what you will about Bellator and their product and the quality of their fights, they know how to get big names that people know and put up ratings. This fight is no different in regards to ratings. Fedor is arguably the greatest Heavyweight to ever compete in MMA and for a fact the greatest to never compete in the UFC. The deal to sign Fedor and keep him away from their biggest competitor the UFC had to be a good one. There is just one slight problem, and it is that this is not the Pride Fighting Championships Fedor; it’s not even Strikeforce’s Fedor who went 1-3. Do not let his 5 fight win streak since fool you this is a much different Fedor.
The only example that you need to see is the matchup from June at EFN 50 in Russia where Fedor was nearly knocked out….ok probably knocked out. However, the fight was not stopped and in one of the most bizarre decisions in MMA history, Fedor Emelianenko defeated Fabio Maldonado (22-11) by Majority Decision. For anyone who watched this fight, including the Athletic Commission in Russia who overturned the decision, everyone knows that Fedor lost that fight and lost badly. The 2nd and 3rd round was two very tired Heavyweights barely landing and honestly was just a really tough fight to watch. That is what makes Saturday very interesting. Bellator is promoting Fedor with documentaries calling him the GOAT and obviously, his reputation precedes him but that was a long time ago. MMA is a cruel game when it comes to aging fighters and many times once that chin is gone it’s gone for good, and from the looks of things that may be the case for Fedor. Years of punishment and 31 straight wins (Don’t count his early career loss because of a cut from an illegal blow) may have caught up to him. He is going against a guy who is also on the back 9 of his career, but certainly, has a lot left in the tank and a lot of power in his hands.
Enter Matt Mitrione the Heavyweight who left the UFC for hopefully greener pastures in Bellator. According to the story, he signed a blank offer and was now given Fedor after 2 straight knockout wins in his 2 Bellator appearances. Mitrione can stand and bang with the best of them when it comes to pure standup. He has proved ever since entering the MMA world on Season 10 of the Ultimate Fighter that he has knockout power. Now this is the Heavyweight division and anything can happen, but one has to think that Mitrione has an advantage over his legendary opponent. Honestly, this is a no lose scenario for Mitrione. One if he does win, he beat a legend on a big stage with a lot of eyes on him. Two if he loses, well he lost to the best Heavyweight of all time so how can you really look down on that. This fight will be a slugfest like many of Fedor’s fights have been recently, and don’t expect it to get to the judges. Fedor will be looking to stall Father Time on this one and make his mark on yet another promotion, while Mitrione will look to declare himself as the best Heavyweight hands down in Bellator today. Saturday night sure will be a fun one on Spike. Prediction: Matt Mitrione via TKO.