The third opening round matchup in 2018’s Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix will feature whom many consider the greatest heavyweight of all time, Fedor Emelianenko (36-5, 1 NC), taking on former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir (18-11) in Bellator’s return to Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill. on Saturday, April 28.
A former PRIDE champion, “The Last Emperor” is one of the most revered and respected heavyweight fighters the sport has seen. Stone-faced and quiet, Emelianenko boasted one of the most impressive unbeaten streaks in the history of MMA, not losing a bout between 2001 and 2009. A multi-time world champion in MMA and Sambo, Fedor recently returned to the sport after a brief hiatus, accumulating two decisive wins since his return to action and taking on Matt Mitrione in an instant classic at Bellator NYC.
Frank Mir joined Bellator earlier this year following 15 years in the UFC where he became a two-time world champion, collected 16 victories and defeated a who’s who of heavyweight contenders, including Brock Lesnar, “Bigfoot” Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Mirko Cro Cop. Fighting out of Las Vegas, Mir set numerous records while competing with his former promotion, highlighted by the most fights (27), victories (16), and submissions (8) in heavyweight history. With 14 of his 18 career wins coming by way of knockout or submission, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt will now try his hand in Bellator’s heavyweight division.