Vladimir MatyushenkoForty-two-year-old former IFL light heavyweight champ and UFC veteran Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko (26-7) will continue his pro mixed martial arts career with Bellator MMA. Bellator announced the signing of “The Janitor” to their light heavyweight division via press release on Thursday.

“Vladimir is a fighter I’ve watched for years,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “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.”

“With our Champion Attila Vegh sitting at the top of the mountain right now, and with guys like Emanuel Newton, Mikhail Zayats and King Mo coming on strong, the light heavyweight division for Bellator continues to evolve and Vladimir should fit in perfectly to that mix,” Rebney added.

Matyushenko last fought in January, dropping a first round submission to Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 6. Prior to that it had been more than a year since The Janitor had fought due to a partial achilles tear. Between 2009-2013 Matyushenko went 4-3 in what was his second stint in the UFC.

“Bellator is one of the biggest promotions in the world, and to be associated with them is an honor,” Matyushenko said. “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 will make his Bellator MMA debut in a live Spike TV-televised non-tournament fight that will be announced shortly.

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