A heavyweight fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione could be going down in the Bellator cage in 2017 if a new report is to be believed.
According to flocombat.com the fight is close to being finalized and would take place at a Bellator show in early 2017.
If so that would be a big win for Bellator, especially given that the UFC were also known to have been interested in signing the Russian heavyweight legend, Emelianenko.
It would also be another feather in the cap of Bellator boss Scott Coker, who also brought Fedor to Strikeforce during his time as CEO there, and indeed it could be argued that a fight with Mitrione would be Fedor’s toughest test since his 2011 loss to Dan Henderson in that promotion.
That being said, the 40 year-old Fedor showed real signs that he’s past his best in his last fight with former UFC fighter Fabio Maldonado at EFN 50 in Russia back in June.
Despite Maldonado being a natural light-heavyweight who entered the fight off the back of three losses in his previous four fights in the UFC, he came exceptionally close to finishing Emelianenko during a completely dominant first round.
Fedor showed great heart to work his way back into the fight, but he was very fortunate indeed to emerge with a majority decision win.
With that in mind, facing a heavy-handed striker like Mitrione has the potential to be a very dangerous fight indeed for Fedor at this stage in his career.
The 38 year-old Mitrione jumped ship from the UFC to Bellator last year after a two-fight losing streak against top 10 contenders Ben Rothwell and Travis Browne.
Since then he’s rebounded with back-to-back wins in the space of a month this summer, knocking out Carl Seumanutafa and TKO’ing Oli Thompson.
10 of Mitrione’s 11 career wins have come by way of strikes inside the distance, so he’ll fancy his chances of hurting Fedor if he can find his chin, but if ‘The Last Emperor’ can rediscover his form, he is a much more well-rounded fighter, who can back up his own heavy-hands with an excellent ground game.