Bellator 269: Fedor Emelianenko Outlines Why Timothy Johnson Was “The Obvious Choice” For Next Opponent
By FCF Staff
Not everyone seems to be on board with Bellator’s decision to book Timothy Johnson against Fedor Emelianenko this weekend. But, recently the legendary heavyweight explained why for him, Johnson was the right choice.
Emelianenko will battle Johnson at Bellator 269, which will take place on October 23rd in Moscow, Russia. The bout will be Emelianenko’s first since 2019.
Leading up to the fight’s booking, there was extensive speculation about Emelianenko taking on the likes of Fabricio Werdum, Josh Barnet or Junior dos Santos in his return. Further, since Johnson lost via decision to Fedor’s teammate, Valentin Moldavsky in June, the decision to book Emelianenko – Johnson caught many off guard.
But, while talking to the media ahead of Bellator 269, Emelianenko argued Johnson was the clear choice (quote via MMA Junkie).
“Tim Johnson had quite a winning streak going on,” Emelianenko said. “That obviously shows he’s quite a good fighter. Fighting someone who is spearheading the (division) is always a great opportunity.”
“Aside from Tim Johnson, Dos Santos, for example, had a serious streak of losses alongside,” Emelianenko said. “He was also fighting for the UFC, as well. That is why I don’t think it would’ve been much suitable to fight him compared to Tim Johnson. Not to mention the fact that Bellator came up with a bunch of options and Tim was the obvious choice.”
The 36-year-old Johnson (15-7) had won three straight prior to facing Moldavsky, as he recorded wins over Cheick Kongo, Matt Mitrione and Tyrell Fortune.
The 45-year-old Emelianenko (39-6) quickly stopped ‘Rampage’ Jackson in his last fight. The former PRIDE champ is 3-2 in his last 5 outings.