Image Credit: Bellator

No date has been announced yet for Fedor Emelianenko and Chael Sonnen’s upcoming bout, but the latter is starting to ramp up his pre-fight, verbal game…

Fedor and Sonnen are going to fight in the semifinals of Bellator’s heavyweight grand-prix, on a date that has yet to be determined. Emelianenko secured a spot in the semis by taking out Frank Mir last month, while Sonnen advanced by earning a decision in over “Rampage” Jackson in January.

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Well, if you’ve followed Sonnen over the years, then you know that Fedor has been the subject of “The American Gangter’s” verbal barbs before. The former UFC contender appeared on “The MMA Hour” this week, and Sonnen was of course, asked about Fedor. Here’s some of what the outspoken fighter had to say (quotes via MMA Fighting):

“I don’t know about the whole respect thing,” Sonnen said. “He seems like a perfectly nice guy, I don’t think I would want to take anything from him, but it’s a gimmick, right? All the guys are working a gimmick. He found his gimmick. He found a little something with the respect and the humbleness and looking like Dumpy Dwarf getting interviewed by his translator Snow White there.

“That’s good for some people. It doesn’t do a damn thing for me. I’m not impressed by it, I don’t fall for it. At the end of the day, behind that little frumpy look on his face and the little doughy bald head is a dirty, rotten cage fighter just like me.”

There you go. It will be interesting to see if Sonnen can get to Fedor at all with his pre-fight, mental game. Although, really, Sonnen is likely doing this as a means to drive interest in the bout. There’s been almost no indication over the years that trash talk bothers Fedor at all.

Sonnen also took aim at Fedor’s record fighting overseas in Japan, which has been a target of his before. He also argued that Emelianenko has never “fought anybody like me before”.  It’s going to be fascinating to see how that fight unfolds.

In the other semifinal, Bellator’s 205 champ, Ryan Bader, will take on fellow UFC vet Matt Mitrione.