‘The Last Emporer’ Fedor Emelianenko, regarded as the best heavyweight in the history of mixed martial arts, makes his Bellator MMA debut at the Bellator NYC pay-per-view at Madison Square Garden on June 24. Fedor is matched against Bellator’s star heavyweight Matt Mitrione.
Height: 6’0″ (183cm)
Reach: 74.5″ (189cm)
Not only is Fedor Emelianenko regarded the greatest mixed martial arts heavyweight ever, he’s probably in consideration as the best mixed martial artist of all-time, too. Fedor started to turn heads when he debuted back at Pride 21: Demolition in 2002. Emelianenko came onto the scene and started to destroy all of the best heavyweights that PRIDE had to offer.
He continued to defeat and dominate all of his opponents all the way up to when he was upset by Fabricio Werdum in 2010. Fedor managed an incredible 29 consecutive wins with a finishing percentage of 82% during this time. He’s now on a five-win streak dating back to 2011, although three of his last opponents have been extreme underdogs of -1200 or more.
Height: 6’2″ (189cm)
Reach: 79.0″ (202cm)
Matt Mitrione is the man to welcome Fedor Emelianenko to Bellator MMA. Mitrione is an exceptional athlete, transitioning to mixed martial arts after a career in the NFL. Mitrione is still quite ‘raw’ as a fighter, due to not having the comprehensive experience that other fighters have picked up through training at a younger age.
Mitrione picked up the name ‘Meathead’ through his time on The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 because of his bad temper. This carries through in his fighting style and he often is the one to push the pace and aggressively hunt down his opponents early. Mitrione has picked up wins in his two fights in Bellator MMA, so far and will be looking to make it three and stamp himself as one of the best heavyweights in the world with a win over Fedor.
Let’s start by breaking down what we have seen from Matt Mitrione since arriving in Bellator. Mitrione, despite picking up two wins, has been rocked on occasion. Carl Seumanutafa tagged Mitrione with a heavy strike that dropped him to the canvas in the first round before Mitrione worked himself back into the fight and stopped Seumanutafa in the second round.
I’m not doubting for a second that Fedor has all the technique that he needs to finish Matt Mitrione. It’s more about whether he still has the timing, precision and athleticism to keep up with one of the fastest heavyweights in the modern era. If Seumanutafa can drop Mitrione, you’d think that Fedor would have a pretty damn good chance, too, even at this age.
This is a very difficult fight to predict, as both of these guys pack tremendous stopping power. On the night, I’m thinking Matt Mitrione can get the job done against Fedor by strategically choosing when to slug it out.
Bookmakers released these odds with not much separating the two fighters. Mitrione, despite being the favourite in the eyes of most bookmakers is paying +108 at Marathon to win. Can boost to odds of +125 with BetVictor.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Matt Mitrione
Matt Mitrione to win by KO/TKO
Sunday 25th June, 04:00 GMT / 12:00am ET
+125 odds at BetVictor