For the first time in the organisation’s history, Bellator is heading to Japan.
The promotion has announced Fedor Emelianenko (38-6-1) and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (38-13) will square off in a long-awaited heavyweight showdown at the Saitama Super Arena in Japan on 29 December.
Bellator Japan: Fedor vs. Rampage will be the promotion’s first live event in Japan and will continue and ongoing partnership with RIZIN.
“For Bellator’s debut in Japan, we wanted to bring a massive event and fighters that the Japanese fans really connect with,” said Bellator President Scott Coker.
“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.”
Coker said it would be “monumental event” for Bellator and for Japanese fans who have followed the careers of Fedor and Jackson.
This is not the first time both promotions have joined hands. Earlier this year RIZIN sent Kyoji Horiguchi and Rena Kubota to compete on the Bellator 222 in New York. Horiguchi went on to defeat Darrion Caldwell and claim Bellator’s bantamweight title.
Fedor Emelianenko returns to Japan following a successful run in the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix earlier this year, where he earned consecutive first-round knockouts over Chael Sonnen and Frank Mir.
An eight-fight veteran of Bellator, “Rampage” Jackson’s legendary career has seen him compete against against a long list of MMA legends including Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, “King Mo” Lawal and, perhaps most-notably, his four-fight series with Wanderlei Silva.
RIZIN CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara said he was happy to help Bellator host its first event in Japan.
“I do believe that December 29 will be a history-changing event,” he said during Wednesday’s press conference.
Details about the fight card and whether bouts will take place in a ring or a cage are still being ironed out.