Fedor vs. Rampage to headline first Bellator event in Japan

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Quinton "Rampage" Jackson reacts after defeating Wanderlei Silva by technical knockout in the second round of a heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at Bellator 206 in San Jose, Calif., on Sept. 29, 2018. (Jeff Chiu/AP)

Fedor Emelianenko and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson never met when the two competed in PRIDE in the early- to mid-2000s, however the two esteemed mixed martial artists are set to headline Bellator MMA’s first event in Japan later this year.

The Dec. 29 card is scheduled to take place at the famed Saitama Super Arena, Bellator president Scott Coker officially announced Wednesday.

“For Bellator’s debut in Japan, we wanted to bring a massive event and fighters that the Japanese fans really connect with,” Coker said in a press release. “Given the vast history of martial arts and MMA in Japan, and especially at Saitama Super Arena, this will be a very special show that no one will want to miss. This will, unquestionably, be a monumental event for Bellator and I am looking forward to the moment that Fedor and ‘Rampage’ walk out to a crowd that has known them since their careers began.”

The two men are among the most popular and accomplished fighters in MMA history and both have continued competing into their early forties.

Emelianenko (38-6, 1 no-contest) is 43 and coming off a 35-second knockout loss to current Bellator heavyweight and light-heavyweight champion Ryan Bader in January. However, in 2018 the Russian earned TKO victories over former UFC stars Chael Sonnen and Frank Mir.

The 41-year-old Jackson (38-13) on the other hand snapped a two-fight losing streak last September with a knockout win over longtime rival Wanderlei Silva.

No other fights have been added to the card, although Coker explained it will include three Bellator vs. RIZIN bouts.

“I would also like to thank RIZIN for their help in making this event a possibility and we look forward to working together in the near future to showcase the best talent each organization has to offer,” Coker added.

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