According to Alistair Overeem, Fedor Emelianenko declined to face him in his return battle.
Instead, Emelianenko shall be taking over Tim Johnson in the primary occasion of Bellator 269 on Oct. 23, a choice Bellator president Scott Coker says Emelianenko made based mostly off of rankings.
But Overeem (47-19) says Emelianenko (39-6 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) didn’t solely flip him down as soon as – he’s been making an attempt to battle him for over a decade now.
“We tried to make a little bit that Fedor fight, and that was kind of radio silence on that end,” Overeem stated on “The MMA Hour.” “But that would be something I was interested in.”
He continued, “We tried to make that fight 2010, when he fought Werdum and I fought Brett Rogers – declined. After he lost to Werdum, we tried to make that fight. He declined, and now he has declined. So that’s three declines, so I think, with all due respect, but there is no interest from that side to fight me, and I cannot blame Fedor. Listen, I’m getting a little bit older, myself. A little bit, not too much. He’s a little older than me, I think he’s 45 or 46, so I understand. But I have done everything I can do to make that fight happen – 10 years ago, but also now.”
After failed discussions with Bellator to make the Emelianenko battle occur, Overeem has moved on, however in a unique path. Though he’s not utterly ruling out a return in MMA, Overeem is visiting his previous stomping grounds of the kickboxing world, and the previous Ok-1 champion shall be difficult heavyweight titleholder Rico Verhoeven at “GLORY: Collision 3,” which takes place Oct. 23 at GelreDome, a 34,000-seat stadium in Arnhem, Netherlands.