Fedor Emelianenko vs. Junior dos Santos could reportedly happen in Russia

By Drake Riggs - March 30, 2021

Junior dos Santos is no longer a part of the UFC roster. What could be next? Signs are pointing to a potential Fedor Emelianenko dream bout.


Last week, dos Santos shared his openness to joining the Bellator roster – more specifically, he loves the idea of a fight with “The Last Emperor” who he’s a big fan of. Fast forward to the present day, and some traction behind the scenes is reportedly being made.

According to Russia’s Tele Sport, dos Santos is close to signing a deal with Bellator. Furthermore, his debut would likely be an encounter with Emelianenko in the Russian’s homeland.

Bellator has openly expressed their plans to finish out the heavyweight icon’s career with a fight in his home country. However, due to the global pandemic striking in 2020, it’s slowed down the “retirement tour” for Emelianenko.

The former PRIDE FC champion in Fedor Emelianenko last fought in December 2019 when he returned to Japan for the first time in four years. Headlining Bellator 237, the now 44-year old legend took on a fellow PRIDE staple in Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Needing just under three minutes, Emelianenko put away Rampage with his classic big right hand to get the knockout.

For dos Santos, he fought as recently as December 2020 at UFC 256. Unfortunately for the once UFC heavyweight king, he suffered his fourth straight TKO loss via the hands of rising French contender, Ciryl Gane.

A member of the UFC roster since October 2008, “Cigano” went on to have 23 fights under the UFC banner. Prior to the start of that tenure, dos Santos had only fought seven times on the Brazilian regional scene.

Junior dos Santos would not be the first former UFC titleholder that Fedor Emelianenko could fight, but he certainly may end up being the last.


Bellator Fedor Emelianenko Junior dos Santos MMA News