Vitaly Minakov announced his return to fighting

Former Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov plans to resume his career after a nearly two-year hiatus and fight in a Russian league before the end of the year.

“For the last year I’ve been slowly rolling in and I think I’m in the shape in which I can start full-fledged training,” the Russian said in an interview Igor Lazorin. “I’m not at the peak of my form, but I’m in the conditions where I can start a good job”

Minakov said Minakov’s current contract with Bellator will not prevent him from competing in an outside organization, including the ACA league, which has shown interest in him.

“There is a contract with Bellator, there are three fights left, but there is a difficulty with leaving Russia – there is no American visa, and I don’t see any prospect of getting one in the foreseeable future yet. There is a potential opportunity to perform in Europe, but why the organization does not offer me fights in European tournaments, I do not know yet”

“As far as I know from the words of manager Rizvan Magomedov, it is possible to perform in other leagues by agreement with the organization. We had a private conversation with ACA representatives, where an offer to enter the grand prix this season was voiced, but the offer was made late, a month before the start of the grand prix, and I did not have a clear understanding at that time whether there would be an opportunity to perform in Bellator. Now my representatives are in talks with ACA and other organizations, and I’m ready to discuss offers. I would like to start somewhere before the end of the year”

Vitaly Minakov, 38, had his last fight in October 2021 at Bellator 269 in Moscow, losing by technical knockout in the third round to Said Souma of Suriname due to a finger injury.