Fedor Emelianenko Retirement Fight ‘Definitely’ Not Happening In Moscow
Fedor Emelianenko is likely to be heading into his final fight, but it won’t be happening in his home country as he – and his fans — may have wanted.
Bellator President Scott Coker confirmed on Saturday that the promotion will no longer hold Emelianenko’s retirement fight in Moscow, Russia for “obvious reasons.” Those reasons come after Russia’s ongoing attacks on Ukraine, which has forced Russian athletes to pay a price for it.
Just had Scott Coker confirm to me during Bellator 276 presser that the original plan for Fedor’s retirement fight was to have it in Red Square in Moscow. Promotion already had approval. Fight will no longer happen in Moscow for obvious reasons. #Bellator276
— Jay Anders🥶n (@CageSideJay) March 13, 2022
“It’s definitely not going to happen in Moscow this year,” Coker said.
“We’re not gonna do Fedor’s retirement fight there for obvious reasons. We’ll be looking for an alternative site at some point, but we’re going to sit down with Fedor when he comes to [Bellator 277] in San Jose and see what he’s thinking.”
Coker previously said that Emelianenko (40-6) wanted his retirement fight to be a championship bout against Ryan Bader. The president said it depended on how Bader did against interim champion Valentin Moldavsky, which Bader went on to win. It’s unclear if Bader will surely be Emelianenko’s next opponent.
The Russian is coming off a technical knockout previous interim champion Tim Johnson. He nabbed that victory after a two-year hiatus.
The 45-year-old is often considered the best heavyweight in MMA history. He won 31 of his first 32 professional fights, winning Strikeforce and PRIDE championships.