Fedor Emelianenko is the greatest heavyweight of all time. He is no longer what he was – his ability is very, very nearly identical to that of Fabio Maldonado, who is 1-5 his last six. However, he’s still Fedor.
‘The Last Emperor’ fights Matt Mitrione at Bellator 172 on Febuary 18, 2017. ‘Meathead’ appeared recently on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, promised not to be awed or cowed fighting a legend.
“I’ll have no problem trying to throw my fist into Fedor’s face. None,” said Mitrione, as transcribed by Dave Doyle for MMA Fighting. “That’s my job, that’s what I’m getting paid to do, that’s why they brought us both together is because we’re both exciting-ass fighters. Fedor’s a huge legend and a massive name and I’m in the process of trying to make myself a legend. So I’ll have no problem throwing hands on him and doing as much damage as possible to try to steal any kind of reputation he has and put it on my own.”
“Honestly he took a couple years off, right? I think those are probably tuneup fights. I would expect to see the best Fedor possible when I fight him. I expect him to get back in and knock off the rust, get used to the adrenaline dump and moving around and the excitement of it. Fedor even cracked a smile on a staredown, faceoff. I think it’s just getting back in the swing for him, getting used to it. I’m sure he’ll be back on the grind and his murderous cabbage patch kid self again soon.”
“Every fight’s the biggest fight of my career, right? If you lose, nobody cares about you. I would like to say that because I’m involved in it, but it will most likely be one hell of a scrap. I expect the most out of Fedor. He’s a frickin’ legend, man. Everybody wants this opportunity. This is the reason why I left, for reasons like this.”
The Bellator heavyweight championship has been vacant for four years, but Mitrione vs. Fedor will not be for it. Mitrione was unconcerned and said he trusted the direction CEO Scott Coker is taking the company, as long as the checks cash.
“And Viacom’s checks don’t bounce, son,” he explained.