Undefeated Russian heavyweight Vitaly Minakov, a Sambo fighting specialist, has signed for Bellator Fighting Championships.
He was snapped up by the US promotion following a stoppage win over the UFC veteran Eddie Sanchez in Moscow, Russia earlier this month.
“Becoming a Bellator fighter means that all my hard work in the gym and training has all paid off,” Minakov said. “It means myself and my entire team were working in the right direction, and we did everything right.”
Undefeated at 8-0, the four-time World Sambo Champion boasts an outstanding ground game to complement a striking game that has earned the improving Minakov three knockout wins in his last four victories.
A member of the RusFighters Sports Club headed by Alexei Zhernakov, Minakov is set to make his Bellator debut shortly and already has his sights set on a future Bellator Heavyweight Tournament.
“With my current training regimen, I feel like I am fully prepared for a future Bellator Tournament,” Minakov said. “I want everyone to know that I’m not here just to ‘take part’ in a Bellator Tournament, but to win it all and become a Bellator Champion.”
“There has been tremendous buzz about Vitaly worldwide,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “He has an incredible Sambo background and a very solid stand up game. His potential after just eight fights is very high and we are excited to have him joining Bellator.”