One of the top heavyweights outside not currently signed to a major mixed martial arts promotion will be in action on June 2.
Former Bellator MMA champion Vitaly Minakov will square off against UFC veteran Antonio Silva at a Fight Nights Global event in St. Petersburg, Russia, the promotion announced Tuesday.
The 32-year-old Minakov is unbeaten in 19 professional fights, with 17 victories coming inside the distance. The Russian has won five straight contests since parting ways with Bellator, including a third-round knockout of D.J. Linderman at Fight Nights Global 59 on Feb. 23. Minakov also owns notable triumphs over the likes of Cheick Kongo, Alexander Volkov, and Josh Copeland during his professional tenure.
Silva has fallen on hard times of late, winning just once in his last nine outings. In his first bout since being cut by the UFC, “Bigfoot’ dropped a unanimous verdict to Ivan Shtyrkov at an event in Russia on Nov. 18. Silva’s previous six defeats had all been via KO or TKO.