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Josh Barnett, Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem among potential opponents for Fedor’s return

Everyone wants a piece of “The Last Emperor” when he returns to the cage on Oct. 23, 2021, for a Bellator event in Russia.

Strikeforce: Fedor v Henderson - Weigh In Photo by Josh Hedges/Forza LLC/Forza LLC via Getty Images

Leading into Bellator 261, the promotion made a pretty big announcement: it would make its first foray into Russia on Oct. 23, 2021, for a show headlined by none other than Fedor Emelianenko.

Emelianenko isn’t the unbeatable powerhouse he was back in the early 2000s when he was fighting for PRIDE FC, but the dude still draws a lot of eyeballs and interest. So now the big question is who Fedor will fight in the fall.

According to Bellator President, Scott Coker, there are many options.

“You know, I’ll tell you there is a long laundry list of people who have raised their hands to come fight Fedor in Russia,” Coker said during the Bellator 261 post-fight press conference. “I’m sure you guys all know the names that have been thrown out there. We’re gonna evaluate it and I’m going to talk to Fedor [Saturday] morning to see what he’s thinking.”

“I know what he’s going to say: ‘You guys pick it out.’ But, I think we should let him go home, think about it, talk to his coaches, because his coach isn’t here, he’s in Holland. It’ll probably take a week or two to figure this out but after that it’s going to be game on.”

Since the announcement was made, many fighters have been actively calling Bellator.

“There’s no shortage of opponents,” Coker continued. “The managers of all the free agents are calling. Josh Barnett was texting me today. I talked to Junior dos Santos’ manager a couple of days ago. Alistair Overeem, the list goes on and on and on. There’s a lot GOATS that might be a possibility in this match up, but listen, we’ll figure it out in the near future.

“Like I said, there’s a long list of guys who want to compete against the greatest heavyweight of all-time,” Coker concluded. “If I was those guys I’d be raising my hand, too.”

So who do you want to see Fedor face next, Maniacs?

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