Fedor Emelianenko says his new deal with Bellator is a retirement tour…but that all can change depending on how he feels.
Emelianenko came to Bellator in late 2016 and made his promotional debut in a loss to Matt Mitrione at Bellator NYC. He scored back-to-back first-round finishes of Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, but he was defeated with one punch and in 35 seconds in the final by Ryan Bader.
Emelianenko’s status was in question following the loss, but he came to a three-fight deal with Bellator in the summer — a deal that Bellator head Scott Coker called a “retirement tour.”
That’s what we discussed, and that’s what we agreed on, but let’s see how I feel.
“Right now, the plan is just like Scott laid out,” Emelianenko said through an interpreter. “There’s going to be three fights, and it’s kind of a retirement tour, but when the tour is over, he said let’s see how I feel. We’ll go from there.”
The tour begins at Bellator 237, where he meets Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in a battle of PRIDE legends at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
“Early on he was probably lighter, faster and younger,” Emelianenko said. “And now, much like myself, he is a little heavier, a little slower, but he probably hits a lot harder.
“I think I’ve already shown the [Japanese] fans everything there is for me to show them. This will be more like a farewell fight. I would like to entertain them. I want them to be happy watching me fight, and I would like to come back to Japan as a guest.”
Original Story: MMAJunkie