Bellator Japan is set for the Saitama Super Arena on December 29th. The event will be headlined by a heavyweight fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Quinton Jackson.

‘Rampage’ and Fedor both made their name fighting for Pride so this bout will clearly appeal to any Japanese fans nostalgic for that era. It will be Bellator’s first event in Asia and will take place two days before the Rizin card in the same venue on New Year’s Eve.

Coincidentally both men have exactly 38 career wins. Emelianenko (38-6-0-1) established himself as the greatest heavyweight in the world by winning titles with Pride, Affliction and Strikeforce.

The 43 year old is currently on a retirement tour with Bellator. His status as a pound for pound great suffered after losing three straight fights for Strikeforce but the Russian has won seven out of his last nine.

Jackson (38-13) has arguably had more success than Emelianenko in the post Pride era. The 41 year old won the UFC light heavyweight title and went on to win a Bellator 205lbs tournament.

Bellator CEO Scott Coker explained the choice of main event as follows,

“For Bellator’s debut in Japan, we wanted to bring a massive event and fighters that the Japanese fans really connect with. I am looking forward to the moment that Fedor and ‘Rampage’ walk out to a crowd that has known them since their careers began. 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.”

The partnership between the two promotions has already seen Kyoji Horiguchi and Darrion Caldwell go head to head at Bellator 222 in New York and Rizin 14 in Tokyo.

Bellator Japan, Tokyo, December 29th
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Quinton Jackson (Heavyweight)