Timothy Johnson Announced As Opponent For Fedor Emelianenko’s Return

Timothy Johnson walks down a ramp at a Bellator event.
Timothy Johnson has been named as the next opponent for Fedor Emelianenko. (Bellator)

Legendary MMA heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko is set to face Timothy Johnson in his return fight in October, as announced by the promotion on Thursday.

The fight will headline Bellator’s debut event in Russia on October 23rd at the VTB Arena in Moscow.

The opponent reveal for Emelianenko comes after weeks of speculation and fighters offering to be his opponent. Names thrown out by Bellator President Scott Coker as potential opponents were Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos.

Bellator fighter Jake Hager and MMA veteran Josh Barnett were two fighters who aggressively campaigned online for the matchup.

Johnson is coming back after losing an interim Bellator Heavyweight Championship fight earlier this year. He fought for five rounds against Valentin Moldavsky in June, losing via unanimous decision in the end.

Johnson had scored three consecutive wins in Bellator prior to the title fight.

It was first announced in June that Emelianenko would make his return to the cage in June. The bout will be his first appearance since late 2019 when he defeated Rampage Jackson within a year.

Emelianenko has experience in MMA of over two decades and is regarded as one of the most successful fighters to never compete in the UFC.

Here is how Bellator Moscow looks currently:

Bout 2: Fedor Emelianenko (39-6) vs. Timothy Johnson (15-7) (Heavyweight)

Bout 1: Vitaly Minakov (22-1) vs. Tyrell Fortune (11-1) (Heavyweight)

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