Vladimir Matyushenko (pictured) and his trademark ivy cap will be taking their talents to Bellator MMA. The Viacom-backed mixed martial arts promotion announced Thursday they have signed the 42-year-old to its light heavyweight roster.
“Vladimir is a fighter I’ve watched for years. 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,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney said.
“The Janitor” was released by the UFC after getting submitted by Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 6. The January defeat marked his second straight loss inside the Octagon.
Matyushenko, one of MMA’s nicest athletes, is thrilled to be able to start anew at this stage of his accomplished career.
“Bellator is one of the biggest promotions in the world, and to be associated with them is an honor,” stated Matyushenko. “I am optimistic and excited to work with Bellator. The amount of respect and honor I felt from Bjorn and the entire Bellator team was tremendous, and getting into the Bellator cage and cementing my legacy as a Bellator world champion is the only thing on my mind.”
Matyushenko owns a respectable 26-7 professional record. He will make his promotional debut in a soon-to-be announced non-tournament bout.