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Emelianenko-Johnson MMA fight in Moscow to go as scheduled, says Bellator chief

Fedor Emelianenko is set for the fight against Timothy Johnson of the United States in Moscow on October 23
Fedor Emelianenko, President of Bellator MMA Scott Cocker and Timothy Johnson Valery Sharifulin/TASS
Fedor Emelianenko, President of Bellator MMA Scott Cocker and Timothy Johnson
© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, October 21. /TASS/. The Bellator 269 tournament in Moscow with the participation of world-renowned MMA (mixed martial arts) heavyweight fighter Fedor Emelianenko of Russia will be held as scheduled despite the recently introduced anti-COVID-19 measures in the Russian capital, Scott Cocker, the head of the US-based Bellator promotion, said on Thursday.

The authorities of Moscow earlier introduced a set of restrictions for the period between October 28 and November 7 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. In particular, the organization of all scheduled cultural, entertainment and sports mass events has been cancelled for the period.

Addressing a news conference in Moscow, Cocker said that problems exist, just like in the rest of the world, but despite of all these problems the tournament would still take place as scheduled.

Emelianenko, 45, currently boasts an official MMA record of 39 wins (15 by KO/TKO; 15 by submission and nine by decision) and six defeats (five by KO/TKO; one by submission). He is set for the fight against Timothy Johnson of the United States in Moscow on October 23.

The 36-year-old Johnson has a professional career record of 15 wins (eight by KO/TKO, three by submission, four by decision) and seven defeats (three by KO/TKO, one by submission and three by decision).

‘The Last Emperor’ Fedor Emelianenko

The MMA star had temporarily retired between 2012 and 2015. During that hiatus, Emelianenko held the post of the Russian MMA Union’s president and also served from November 2012 as an advisor to then-Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko.

Following his 2015 comeback, Emelianenko has had seven bouts so far, defeating India’s Jaideep Singh, then clinching another victory over Brazil’s Fabio Maldonado. In June 2017, he lost by TKO to US fighter Matt Mitrione. In April 2018, he defeated US heavyweight Frank Mir with a KO win in the first round and in October 2018 he enjoyed a TKO triumph over American fighter Chael Sonnen. In January 2019, he lost by TKO (punches) to Ryan ‘Darth’ Bader of the United States and then knocked out US fighter Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson in December 2019.

Born on September 28, 1976, in the town of Rubezhnoye in Ukraine’s southeast, Emelianenko fought his way to the top earning numerous titles throughout his career.

He is the MMA Pride Fighting Championships Heavyweight Champion (2003-2007), FIAS World Combat Sambo Championship Heavyweight Champion 2002, 2005, 2007 and Russian Judo Federation National Championship bronze medalist (1998, 1999).

In 2009, the esteemed American sports magazine, Sports Illustrated, named him "the top MMA fighter of the decade.".