Fedor Emelianenko will be competing this weekend at Bellator 172, where he faces UFC veteran Matt Mitrione in the main event.
Emelianenko, who hasn’t fought stateside since the days of Strikeforce, spoke about why he chose to sign with Bellator MMA over the UFC.
“We had made great relations with Scott Coker,” Emelianenko said on The MMA Hour. “I received a very good offer from Bellator. In addition, Bellator invited my entire team. So all of the guys will be performing as well.”
The heavyweight legend has only competed twice since announcing a self-imposed retirement a few years back, last defeating UFC veteran Fabio Maldonado at Eurasio Fight Nights 50.
While the fans have been wanting to see Fedor in the UFC for awhile now, the Russian star says that it just didn’t come together.
“Depending on the point of view, a lot of times you can be very close and sort of go around and around and never get to it,” he said. “There were some things that were not satisfactory for UFC and there were some things that were not satisfactory for me and we never came to an agreement. One of the main reasons was the ability for my team to perform, for my guys to perform. The other reasons were, we were not exactly on the same terms [with the UFC] as far as the financial conditions and some other things, some other smaller things as well.”
Bellator 172 takes place on Saturday, February 18 from the SAP Center in San Jose, California with Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione headlining. Fightful will be providing live coverage of the event, with a post-fight podcast covering the event the next night.