Fedor Clarifies Stance on Retirement
The ending to Bellator 237 caused some confusion over the active fighter status of Fedor Emelianenko, who scored a first-round knockout of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
In his post-fight remarks, Emelianenko, speaking through a translator, seemingly hinted at retiring in the arena where he reigned as PRIDE heavyweight champion.
“Perhaps my career stops here in Japan where I started,” Emelianenko said. “Thank you for supporting me in my career. This is the end of my tour.”
Emelianenko signed a new, three-fight deal with Bellator in the summer, with president Scott Coker claiming it would serve as a “retirement tour” for the MMA legend. However, the statement at the end of the event seemed to suggest Emelianenko would call it a career in Japan.
The comments even sparked Paramount Network, which broadcasts Bellator, to put a tweet thanking Emelianenko. The official Bellator account also posted the post-fight interview in a now-deleted tweet that said Emelianenko was hanging up the gloves.
— Paramount Network (@paramountnet) December 29, 2019
However, per John Morgan of MMAJunkie, Emelianenko clarified in post-fight backstage remarks that he is not retiring. In fact, he desires two more fights, which will allow him to fight one more time in the U.S. before ending his career in his home country of Russia.
Fedor clarified backstage he is NOT retired. Ideal scenario, he fights once again in U.S. and then has a final fight in Russia. No timeline in place. #Bellator237
— John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) December 29, 2019
This would not have been Emelianenko’s first retirement. He originally retired with a win over Pedro Rizzo in Russia in June 2012 but came back to MMA three years later.