Fedor Emelianenko is set to fight back home in Russia but who he’s fighting caught many by surprise.
When Bellator announced Emelianenko will compete at home, several high-profile names like Junior dos Santos, Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, and Fabricio Werdum among others all said they want the fight. Unfortunately, none of them got it as it was revealed Tim Johnson will face the legend and many were disappointed in the news.
Now, Johnson has spoken about the fight booking and has responded to all the backlash of the fight.
“I honestly didn’t even think I was going to be in the neighborhood of getting it, initially,” Johnson told MMA Junkie on Monday. “I heard the same names everyone else did. … Since the announcement, there’s been a lot of people – it’s been not received with open arms, I guess you could say. Well, here it is: Fedor watched me fight for 25 minutes up close and personal (against Moldavsky). The same list everyone was talking about, Fedor has in front of him. He had a say in the matchmaking.
“It’s either one of two routes: He picked me because he thinks he can knock me out right away,” Johnson continued. “I don’t want to think that way. I think he picked me because Fedor’s a warrior. He has a warrior mentality. … I’ll bring the fight to him. He’s not going to get a guy who is going in there to just have a name to fight Fedor. He knows he’s going to have a fight.”
Although Tim Johnson knows it’s not the fight many expected, he says he’s eager for the challenge. The former UFC veteran says he expects to bring the fight to Emelinaneko and he knows if he wins, it changes his career forever.
Regardless of all the backlash, Johnson is just excited he gets the chance to fight a legend in Emelianenko.