|Born||Vitaly Viktorovich Minakov|
February 6, 1985
Bryansk, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Nickname(s)||The New Emperor|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight||249 lb (113 kg; 17.8 st)|
|Division||Heavyweight (265 lb)|
|Reach||78 in (198 cm)|
|Style||Sambo, Judo, Freestyle Wrestling|
|Fighting out of||Bryansk, Russia|
Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S
|Team||Fight Nights Team|
Jackson Wink MMA Academy
|Rank||1st Razryad Grand Master in Sambo|
Black belt in Judo
Master of Sports in Freestyle Wrestling
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Vitaly Viktorovich Minakov (Russian: Виталий Викторович Минаков; born February 6, 1985, Bryansk) is a Russian mixed martial artist, sambist and judoka currently competing in the heavyweight division of Bellator, where he is the former Bellator MMA Heavyweight Champion. A professional competitor since 2010, he has also competed for M-1 Global and Fight Nights Global. He is #6 in the world rankings by the LA Times.
Because Vitaly is a numerous Sambo World Champion and a Junior Russian National Champion in Judo, he considered competing at the 2012 Olympics in London. It is unknown why he didn't make the team.
Mixed martial arts career
Minakov made his professional MMA debut in November 2010. He is a Sambo World Champion, (2008–2011).
In June 2012, Minakov was signed in Bellator.
He made his debut the following fall at Bellator 79 on November 2, 2012. He defeated a Moldavian National Champion & Judo Black Belt  Vladimir Starcencov via TKO in the second round to win his Bellator and North American debut.
Minakov was stripped of his Bellator MMA title on May 14, 2016 due to inactivity.
After leaving Bellator MMA, Minakov returned to fight in his native Russia, under Fight Nights Global promotion. He fought seven times since July 2015 and won all seven of his bouts by finishes.
Return to Bellator
On August 23, 2018 it was revealed that Minakov and his management team had reconciled with Bellator and reached an agreement for a new contract.
Championships and accomplishments
- Bellator MMA
- Bellator Heavyweight World Championship (One time)
- One Successful Title Defense.
- Bellator 2013 Summer Series Heavyweight Tournament Championship.
- Fight Nights Global
- Undefeated in Fight Nights (9-0)
- Global-MMA Fighter of the Year 2013.
- Federation International Amateur de Sambo (FIAS)
- Sambo World Champion (4 time)
- Russian National Champion (4 time)
- Russian Presidential Cup Sambo Champion (3 time - 2008, 2009, 2010)
- Russian Judo Federation
- Russian Junior National Champion (1 time)
- World Judo Federation
- European Junior National Championship 3rd place.
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|22 matches||21 wins||1 loss|
|Loss||21–1||Cheick Kongo||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 216||February 16, 2019||3||5:00||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States|
|Win||21–0||Tony Johnson||TKO (punches)||Fight Nights Global 82: Minakov vs. Johnson||December 16, 2017||2||0:38||Moscow, Moscow Oblast, Russia|
|Win||20–0||Antônio Silva||KO (punches)||Fight Nights Global 68: Pavlovich vs. Mokhnatkin||June 2, 2017||2||1:37||St. Petersburg, Leningrad oblast, Russia|
|Win||19–0||DJ Linderman||KO (punches)||Fight Nights Global 59: Minakov vs. Linderman||February 23, 2017||3||3:09||Khimki, Moscow Oblast, Russia|
|Win||18–0||Peter Graham||Submission (armbar)||Fight Nights Global 50: Fedor vs. Maldonado||June 17, 2016||1||1:01||St. Petersburg, Leningrad oblast, Russia|
|Win||17–0||Josh Copeland||Submission (kimura)||Fight Nights: Battle of Moscow 20||December 11, 2015||2||2:50||Moscow, Moscow oblast, Russia|
|Win||16–0||Geronimo dos Santos||Submission (armbar)||Fight Nights Global: Dagestan||September 25, 2015||1||3:14||Kaspiysk, Dagestan, Russia||Open Weight bout.|
|Win||15–0||Adam Maciejewski||TKO (punches)||Fight Nights Global: Sochi||July 31, 2015||1||0:20||Sochi, Krasnodar krai, Russia|
|Win||14–0||Cheick Kongo||Decision (unanimous)||Bellator 115||April 4, 2014||5||5:00||Reno, Nevada, United States||Defended the Bellator Heavyweight World Championship. Later vacated title when he left the promotion.|
|Win||13–0||Alexander Volkov||TKO (punches)||Bellator 108||November 15, 2013||1||2:57||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Won the Bellator Heavyweight World Championship.|
|Win||12–0||Ryan Martinez||TKO (punches)||Bellator 97||July 31, 2013||3||4:02||Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States|
|Win||11–0||Ron Sparks||KO (punches)||Bellator 96||June 19, 2013||1||0:32||Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States|
|Win||10–0||Vladimir Starcencov||TKO (punches)||Bellator 79||November 2, 2012||2||0:27||Rama, Ontario, Canada|
|Win||9–0||Fabiano Scherner||TKO (punches)||Fight Nights: Battle of Desne||September 17, 2012||1||3:51||Bryansk, Bryansk Oblast, Russia|
|Win||8–0||Eddie Sanchez||KO (punch)||Fight Nights: Battle of Moscow 7||June 7, 2012||1||1:59||Moscow, Moscow Oblast, Russia|
|Win||7–0||Karol Celinski||TKO (corner stoppage)||Faxe Forward Challenge 2: Russia vs. Latvia||April 14, 2012||1||0:55||Riga, Vidzeme, Latvia|
|Win||6–0||Ivan Frolov||Submission (guillotine choke)||AntMMA: Ultimate Fighting of Bryansk||June 29, 2011||1||0:45||Bryansk, Bryansk Oblast, Russia|
|Win||5–0||Juan Espino||TKO (punches)||League S-70: Sambo 70 vs. Spain||April 21, 2011||1||0:09||Moscow, Moscow Oblast, Russia|
|Win||4–0||Valery Scherbakov||Submission (armbar)||M-1 Challenge 22: Narkun vs. Vasilevsky||December 10, 2010||1||1:05||Moscow, Moscow Oblast, Russia|
|Win||3–0||Vitalii Yalovenko||Decision (unanimous)||M-1 Selection 2010: Eastern Europe Finals||July 22, 2010||3||5:00||Moscow, Moscow Oblast, Russia|
|Win||2–0||Alexander Zubachov||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Sambo-70/M-1 Global: Sochi Open European Championships||July 14, 2010||1||0:27||Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia|
|Win||1–0||Ruslan Kabdulin||Submission (armbar)||M-1 Selection 2010: Eastern Europe Round 2||April 10, 2010||1||4:19||Kiev, Kiev Oblast, Ukraine|
- List of Bellator MMA alumni
- List of male mixed martial artists
- List of undefeated mixed martial artists
- "Fighter Bio - Vitaly Minakov - Bellator MMA". bellator.com. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
- "Vitaly Minakov". sherdog.com. Retrieved October 1, 2011.
- "Minakov Signing in Bellator". mmafightcorner.com. June 14, 2012.
- "Vladimir Starcencov, Judoka, JudoInside". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
- "Judo Master at Bellator 96". tapology.com. May 19, 2013.
- Staff (2014-01-17). "Vitaly Minakov vs. Cheick Kongo title fight slated for Bellator 115". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
- John Morgan (2015-05-14). "Bellator cuts lightweight champ Will Brooks, strips heavyweight champ Vitaly Minakov". mmajunkie.com.
- Steven Marrocco (August 23, 2018). "Ex-champ Vitaly Minakov re-signs with Bellator as potential title challenger". mmajunkie.com.
- Staff (February 16, 2019). "MVP vs. Daley". www.bellator.com.
- Dave Doyle (February 16, 2019). "Bellator 216 results: Cheick Kongo gets unanimous decision nod over Vitaly Minakov". www.mmafighting.com.
- Simon Head (July 30, 2019). "Bellator 225 co-headliner set with ex-heavyweight champ Vitaly Minakov vs. Javy Ayala". mmajunkie.com.
- "Виталий Минаков". Retrieved 12 July 2015.