Scott Coker Reveals Fedor Emelianenko Next Opponent Could Be Dos Santos Or Overeem

Fedor Emelianenko, Junior dos Santos

Fedor Emelianenko could fight soon and his opponent might even be Junior dos Santos or Alistair Overeem.

That’s according to Bellator MMA president Scott Coker who revealed that Emelianenko has recovered after contracting COVID-19 last year and is back in the gym as he prepares for his comeback.

“He’s doing much better and he’s ready to start training and getting ready,” Coker told MMA Junkie. “He will fight here in the next several months, I think. I’m going to talk to him when he gets here next week.

“He’s coming with (Vadim) Nemkov. I’ll have a chance to sit down and talk to him. I’ll make sure we’re on the same page as far as the timing of it all. I’m thinking late summer or early fall, you’ll see Fedor in the cage again.”

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Emelianenko last competed in December 2019 when he TKO’d Rampage Jackson at Bellator 237.

And his next opponent could be another UFC legend as Coker revealed possibilities include Dos Santos and Overeem — both of whom were recently released from the Las Vegas-based promotion.

That said, Coker is only interested in one-fight deals for either fighter as the promotion is in talks with the pair.

“We’re not going to sign these guys to, like, a two-year, six-fight deal or build them up,” Coker said. “They’ve done everything. They’ve already proved themselves. They are legends of the sport already. But what I will say is we do have legends of the sport here.

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“If we go down the road, and we think a Fedor opponent will work, Alistair and Fedor will be very interesting to me. Junior Dos Santos and Fedor will be very interesting to me.”

A potential Emelianenko vs. Overeem fight in particular would be very intriguing, especially as the pair could have fought in the 2011 Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix.

However, Overeem ended up withdrawing due to contractual issues while Emelianenko would famously lose to Fabricio Werdum.

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“We put them on opposite sides of the bracket and Fedor lost,” Coker added. “It just didn’t get to the end. Having that fight now might be interesting. We’re still a long ways away from making that happen. But (with) superfights, if they’re open to it, what I told them both is, ‘Look, if you can get a contract somewhere else that is exclusive, then great. If you can’t and you want to fight superfights, the door is always open and we’ll have conversations.’”

Which fight do you want to see for Emelianenko?

Experienced freelance sports writer covering mixed martial arts (MMA) extensively for the last few years. Likes a good body shot.