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Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov faces UFC veteran in Moscow


Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov will fight one more time outside the United States.

Coming off a pair of quick finishes under Russian promotion Fight Nights in 2015, Minakov is slated to headline the promotion’s upcoming card in Moscow on Dec. 11, facing UFC veteran Josh Copeland, sources told The event will air live on UFC Fight Pass.

Fight Night 43 takes place at the Luzhniki Palace of Sports in Moscow, featuring undefeated featherweight Rasul Mirzaev (13-0) against Ilya Kurzanov (8-4) in the co-main event.

Minakov (16-0) last defended his Bellator title in April of 2014, defeating Cheick Kongo via unanimous decision at Bellator 115. Winner of his four previous Bellator fights via knockout, Minakov recently defeated Adam Maciejewski and Geronimo dos Santos in Russia.

Copeland (11-2) enters his first bout outside the United States five weeks after scoring a unanimous decision win over DJ Linderman. A former RFA heavyweight champion, Copeland went 0-2 in the UFC against Ruslan Magomedov and Jared Rosholt.

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