• Antoine Hoffman

The Last Emperor’s Back…Who’s Next?

Before I get into the meat of this, I have to drop a disclaimer. This month marks my 14th anniversary as a fan/follower of the fastest rising sport known to man, Mixed Martial Arts. I have been in group discussion via Facebook where many of the members, and even admins, have been a bunch of internet tough guys who are arm chair critics, rambling on and on about what they would do if they made it to the big stage. Those same “Bitter Bettys”, as I affectionately label them, are the same ones who are quick to shame anyone who tries to join the fold, labelling them “casuals”. But wait, didn’t you have to start somewhere???

Fast forward to I believe June or July 2020. Frustrated with the “norm” of Facebook discussion groups, I stumble upon “Bellator MMA News” …a discussion group full of amicable, mature, welcoming MMA fans, who thrive on having intellectual conversations about the sport/brand we admire. Much love to Brad & Ashly Risk, and Daniel Guajardo for providing an absolute escape from the buffoonery that trendy in other MMA forums.

But wait, the love doesn’t stop there! Please allow me to show some love to group member Leo Romero, who posed an amazing question, roughly around 1am, US eastern standard time, “Who would we want to see Fedor Emelianenko fight against for his return to Russia in Bellator?” Thank you for that post. Here’s my two cents on the matter…speaking of cents, 50 Cent couldn’t have been more premature in abandoning the Bellator Train. Call me crazy, but I can see his on-again, off-again best friend Floyd Mayweather, given his relationship with Showtime, seizing an opportunity to fatten his pockets and elevating Bellator’s brand…back to Fedor Emelianeko’s potential Bellator Moscow opponent:

1. Josh Barnett- an absolute dawg, but his last fight was five years ago. I’m not sure how well he fairs against a more active Emelianenko.

2. Tito Ortiz- In the words of every black mother, grandmother, auntie, female cousin, godmother and Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson, Child please...

3. Alistair Overeem- if he wasn’t already signed with Glory, this would be a marketing dream for both Bellator and Showtime Sports...Pride Fighting

nostalgia would most definitely be the vibes. He’s still listed as a strong possibility, according to multiple MMA media outlets.

4. Anderson Silva- as much as I love the Silva that ran the 185-pound division before goofing off and getting slept by Chris Weidman...I don’t ever wanna see Goofball Anderson that showboats and gets his face beat inward fight again.

5. Junior Dos Santos- This is probably the most logical matchup of the five, given JDS is still a free agent. I’m sure Scotty Too Hotty (Scott Coker) is working diligently behind the scenes to get JDS. Stay tuned!!!

For me, I want Fedor & Overeem!

As an added bonus…if health permitted…CAIN VELASQUEZ!!! That’s my ultimate dream fight right there...Why? For starters, it’s a helluva a display of striking and wrestling. Velasquez is my all-time favourite UFC heavyweight, but I don’t think his head is into fighting anymore since his body can’t hold up in training or fighting. If he could’ve stayed healthy, he would’ve been UFC’s greatest heavyweight and I rock with Stipe, but game must recognise game. “The Emperor” is the greatest heavyweight to never tread UFC waters, so why not? One can wish, can’t he???

Follow me on Twitter at @itsjustanthoff and follow us at @HF_Media for more great content!

Also, be sure to check out the HF Media on such social media platforms as Facebook, Twitter (as just mentioned) and Instagram to join in on the discussion!


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