Fedor Emelianenko and Matt Mitrione will square off in the co-main event when Bellator 180 comes to pay-per-view on June 24.
The New York Post first reported the heavyweight pairing. Originally booked for Bellator 172 on Feb. 18, Emelianenko-Mitrione was canceled hours before it was supposed to take place because Mitrione was suffering from kidney stones. Bellator 180 takes place at Madison Square Garden in New York and marks the promotion’s second-ever pay-per-offering. The card will be headlined by a light heavyweight showdown between Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen.
Regarded as one of the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighters of all-time, Emelianenko enters the bout on a five-fight winning streak. “The Last Emperor” came out of retirement in 2015 to stop Jaideep Singh via first-round TKO at Rizin FF “Iza no Mai.” In his most recent outing, the 40-year-old Russian took a controversial majority decision over Fabio Maldonado at Eurasia Fight Nights 50 last June.
After a 14-bout stint in the UFC, Mitrione kicked off his Bellator MMA tenure with stoppages of Carl Seumanutafa and Oli Thompson in 2016. The 38-year-old known as “Meathead” owns an 11-5 career mark that also includes triumphs over the likes of Derrick Lewis, Gabriel Gonzaga and Shawn Jordan.