Iconic heavyweight force, Fedor Emelianenko has scored an opponent for his homecoming fight in Russia on October 23rd. Set to headline Bellator Russia from the VTB Arena, Emelianenko will tackle recent interim heavyweight title challenger, Timothy Johnson.
Set to return for the first time since December of 2019, Emelianenko last featured in a headlining tilt at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan, as he stopped former UFC light heavyweight champion, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson with a one-sided opening round knockout in the main event of Bellator 237.
For Minnesota native, Johnson, the UFC alum last featured at Bellator 261 in June, dropping a unanimous decision defeat to the returning, Valentin Moldavsky — in an interim heavyweight title bout. News of the bout between Emelianenko and Johnson was first reported by Russian outlet, TASS and reporter, Igor Lazorin.
Widely considered as arguably the greatest heavyweight in professional mixed martial arts history, Emelianenko, the former Pride FC heavyweight champion and 2004 heavyweight Grand Prix victor with the now-defunct Japanese promotion, as well as the former RINGS openweight champion — holds a professional record of 39-6 from 46 professional outings.
The veteran Rubizhne native has managed to score notable career victories against the likes of Ricardo Arona, Renato Sobral, Semmy Schilt, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (x2), Mark Coleman (x2), Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt, Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, Fabio Maldonado, Frank Mir, and Chael Sonnen.
Boasting a 15-7 professional record himself, Johnson, a seven-fight veteran from the UFC, as well as featuring six times under the Scott Coker-led Bellator banner, saw his three-fight undefeated streak snapped by Moldavsky in his interim title challenge loss.
Scoring seven knockout wins and five further submission stoppages, Johnson has bested the likes of Shamil Abdurakhimov, Marcin Tybura, Matt Mitrione, and Cheick Kongo.