The Bellator 237 main event between Fedor Emelianenko and Quinton Jackson is nearly two decades in the making. Both “The Last Emperor” and “Rampage” have fought for every major organization, but their paths have yet to cross — until now.
With both fighters beyond their prime, you would not expect one to be the dominant favorite when it comes to online sports betting. Currently, Emelianenko sits as the -127 favorite, with Jackson a slight underdog at +112.
Both men have fought their last several fights under the Bellator banner.
Emelianenko (38-6, 1NC) is 2-2 in the Bellator cage with victories against Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen. Most recently, the 43-year-old took on Ryan Bader in the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix. This contest was for the vacant heavyweight championship and Bader defeated Emelianenko via knockout just 36-seconds into the opening round. The Russian’s last four losses have come via knockout.
Jackson (38-13) is 5-2 in the Bellator cage with victories over Satoshi Ishii and Wanderlei Silva. The 41-year-old’s two losses came at the hands of Muhammed Lawal and Chael Sonnen. Rampage’s current stint with Bellator is his second go-round. After a short stint between 2013-2014, where he went 3-0, Jackson returned to the UFC for one fight, before being re-signed by Bellator.
Fedor Emelianenko has strong ties to Japan
Both Emelianenko and Jackson have strong ties with Japan, where Bellator 237 will take place. This is the first time the promotion has entered the Japanese market.
Emelianenko fought fourteen times with PRIDE FC, where he held their heavyweight championship. Much like The Last Emperor, Rampage also fought for the Japan-based promotion and entered their ring an outstanding fifteen times.
The two times Jackson vyed for a PRIDE championship, he fell short to Wanderlei Silva.
It is a surprise that Emelianenko and Jackson’s paths did not cross sooner and unfortunately for fight fans it is about a decade and a half too late. However, the nostalgia in all of us will still tune in to see one of the greatest of all time in Emelianenko take on the brash, loudmouth Rampage Jackson.
Bellator 237 goes down on Saturday, December 28 from the Saitama Super Arena in Japan. The main card streams live on DAZN. Also on the fight card is a 160-pound catchweight bout between Michael Chandler and Sidney Outlaw in the evening’s co-main event.
Check out the full Bellator 237 fight card below.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Quinton Jackson
Michael Chandler vs. Sidney Outlaw
Shinsho Anzai vs. Michael Page
Lorenz Larkin vs. Keita Nakamura
Ilara Joanne vs. Kana Watanabe
Daron Cruickshank vs. Goiti Yamauchi
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