Longtime heavyweight bruiser Alistair Overeem has been trying to fight Fedor Emelianenko for more than a decade, chewing the same dirt in PRIDE FC and Strikeforce, but the stars never seemed to align for the aging “Demolition Man.”
Overeem was released from his UFC contract — along with former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos — and will be available to challenge “The Last Emperor,” a super-sized showdown that is “very interesting” to Bellator MMA boss Scott Coker.
“We’re not going to sign these guys to a two-year, six-fight deal or build them up,” Coker told MMA Junkie about Overeem and Dos Santos. “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. 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.”
Emelianenko (39-6, 1 NC), who turns 45 in just a few months, has not competed since the Bellator 237 event back in late 2019, where he smashed former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in less than three minutes.
As for the 40 year-old Overeem (47-19, 1 NC), he was finished in his final UFC fight by Russian standout Alexander Volkov. Likewise, Dos Santos, 37, dropped to 21-9 after getting chewed up and spit out by Ciryl Gane in Dec. 2020.
Fedor is expected to make his Bellator return by late summer or early fall.