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Fedor Emelianenko vs Matt Mitrione announced as Bellator 180 co-main event

Fedor Emelianenko before fighting Fabricio Werdum in a Strikeforce/M-1 Global mixed martial arts match in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, June 26, 2010. Werdum won by submission in the first round. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The co-main event of Bellator 180 was announced on Monday night, as Fedor Emelianenko will take on Matt Mitrione. Earlier in the day, the main event of Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva was announced for the show that will take place on June 24 from Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The two fighters were supposed to have collided at Bellator 172 during the month of February, but Mitrione was hospitalized with kidney stones on the day of the scheduled bout.

Mitrione enters the fight on a two-match winning streak, having defeated Carl Seumanutafa and Oli Thompson in back-to-back Bellator events last summer.

Still awaiting his debut in Bellator more than four months after having announced a deal to sign with the promotion, Emelianenko was kept on the sidelines for Bellator 172 after Mitrione was ruled out. One of the most dangerous heavyweight fighters in the history of the sport, Emelianenko went from December 2000 to June 2010 without a loss.

Despite his past dominance, Emelianenko has fought just twice since June 2012. On a five-match winning streak of his own, he had previously undergone a three-fight losing streak toward the end of his run with Strikeforce, which prompted his retirement.

Booked for a multi-fight deal with the promotion, Emelianenko appears to have finally set a date for his debut against Mitrione, who is looking for another keynote win on his resume. Presumably recovered from the kidney stones that ailed him, the two men will lock up in June as the co-main event of the Bellator 180 event.

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