MMA news, rumors: Fedor Emelianenko vs. 'Rampage' Jackson set for Bellator Japan, Hector Lombard signs with BKFC

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Bellator is heading to Japan with a main event straight out of the days of PRIDE FC. The promotion announced a Dec. 29 event to be held at Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo will be headlined by a fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.

Both Jackson (38-13) and Emelianenko (38-6) made their names fighting in PRIDE, but Fedor was a heavyweight while Jackson competed at 205 pounds. More than a decade later, with both men nearing the ends of their respective careers, they're finally set to meet in a fight that once would have been one of the biggest in the world.

After suffering back-to-back losses in the Bellator cage, Jackson bounced back with a TKO of longtime rival Wanderlei Silva in his most recent bout. He is 2-2 in his most recent stint in the Bellator cage and 5-2 in the promotion over his career.

Emelianenko has not competed since being knocked out in just 35 seconds by Ryan Bader in the final of the Heavyweight Grand Prix. Prior to the loss, he had knocked out Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen, both in the first round.

The event is being co-promoted by Japanese promotion Rizin and Bellator president Scott Coker said the event will also feature a trio of Bellator vs. Rizin fights.

More MMA news, rumors

  • Former UFC star Hector Lombard has not competed since a September 2018 loss to Thales Leites. Now on a six-fight losing skid, he is moving from the Octagon to bare knuckle. Bare Knuckle FC announced Lombard, 41, has signed with the promotion though no date or opponent for his debut has been set.
  • Thiago Santos told MMA Fighting his recovery is going well following his close decision loss to Jon Jones. The light heavyweight contender also is not angling for a tune-up fight once his recovery is complete, instead looking to immediately jump back in the Octagon with Jones. "If it was only up to me, being 100 percent, I don't need a tune-up fight," Santos said. "I don't need any of that. If I can train 100 percent, I'm sure I will get there ready to fight anyone."
  • In addition to the main event troubles for UFC Fight Night Tampa, there was one other late shake-up on the card as Mike Davis has taken a fight with Thomas Gifford on four days' notice. Gifford needed a replacement opponent when Brok Weaver was forced out of their bout for undisclosed reasons.
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