Veteran Vladimir Matyushenko has fought for a dozen promotions over the course of a 33-fight career which dates back to 1997. On Sept. 13, "The Janitor" adds another to his resume when he makes his Bellator debut.
The 42-year old Matyushenko headlines Bellator's card at the Pechanga Casino in Temecula, Calif., when he faces former Bellator light heavyweight champ Christian M'Pumbu.
"This is exactly what I wanted entering Bellator, a tough test right from the start," Matyushenko said. "I still have a lot of fights left in my tank, and this is the start of a new chapter in my career."
Matyushenko (26-7), a former IFL light heavyweight champion, last fought in the UFC, where he was submitted by Ryan Bader on Jan. 26.
M'Pumbu, meanwhile, (18-5-1), is looking to shake off a two-fight losing streak, the most recent of which was his Bellator title loss to Attila Vegh on Feb. 28.
The Sept. 13 card will also feature the quarterfinal round of the Bellator featherweight tournament. as Patricio "Pitbull" Freire meets a debuting Diego Nunes, Shahbulat Shamhalaev takes on Akop Stepanyan, Des Green challenges Fabricio Guerrero, and Joe Taimanglo takes on Andrew Fisher.
Of particular note is the Freire-Nunes fight. Nunes is making his debut as a long stint in the WEC/UFC and and Freire is fighting for the first time since going a grueling five rounds with Bellator featherweight champ Pat Curran in January.
"In my last fight, I made Pat Curran backpedal for 25 minutes, and I know he has doubts if he won the fight," Freire said. "When it comes to this tournament, it won't be Diego or any other guy that will stand in my way for a shot at the belt. I couldn't think of a better place to start than with Diego. It's going to be a great fight."