It seems as though former UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione will no longer welcome Russian mixed martial arts (MMA) legend Fedor Emelianenko to Bellator.
According to a report from Izvestia.ru, via Bloody Elbow’s Karim Zidan, Bellator plans to instead book Emelianenko against Cheick Kongo, Quinton Jackson, or Joey Beltran:
According to Izvestia.ru, Bellator is no longer planning to rebook Fedor vs Mitrione. Kongo, Rampage, and Beltran possible replacements.
— Karim Zidan (@ZidanSports) March 20, 2017
Last month (February 18, 2017) Mitrione and Emelianenko were scheduled to headline Bellator 172 from San Jose, California, however, Mitrione was forced off the card hours before the show began due to kidney stones. Attempts were made to find a last second replacement to fight the Russian, but they were unsuccessful.
It was initially reported that Mitrione would remain the man to welcome Emelianenko to the Bellator brand, but it seems those plans have now changed.
Mitrione is currently undefeated in his Bellator career after racking up back-to-back knockout wins since signing with the promotion. His last defeat came at the hands of Travis Browne in his last fight with the UFC via third round TKO.
Emelianenko is currently on a five-fight win streak since his last loss to Dan Henderson back in Strikeforce in 2011. ‘The Last Emperor’s’ most recent Octagon appearance saw him take home a very controversial majority decision win over Fabio Maldonado in Russia last July. Many thought Emelianenko came up short of the win.
Who do you want to see welcome Emelianenko to Bellator? Should Mitrione retain his position? If you enjoyed this story, please share it on social media!