UFC veteran and former IFL champion Vladimir Matyushenko has signed with Bellator. The light heavyweight isn’t expected to take part in the Summer Series tournament, instead he will be competing in a regular fight.
“Vladimir is a fighter I’ve watched for years,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. “He’s an exciting fighter with an incredible wrestling background and a great pedigree in our sport. When the opportunity presented itself and we had the chance to have him join the Bellator family, it was a very easy decision to make.”
The 42-year-old went 4-3 for the UFC in his second run. He was released following back-to-back stoppage losses to Alexander Gustafsson and Ryan Bader. During his first stay, he lost a title shot to Tito Ortiz in 2001. He followed that with wins against Antônio Rogério Nogueira, Travis Wiuff and Pedro Rizzo.
Rebney is excited with a light heavyweight division that now features champion Attila Vegh, No. 1 contender Emanuel Newton and former Strikeforce champion Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal.
Matyushenko’s Bellator debut and first opponent hasn’t been finalized.