What’s Next For Bellator Star Fedor Emelianenko?
“The Last Emperor” is still looking to compete after all of these years. Who would he be interested in facing next as the Fedor Retirement Tour is almost coming to an end?
Fedor Emelianenko (39-6 1 NC) has been competing since 2000. A RINGS and PRIDE standout, Fedor has been currently fighting for Bellator. His last fight was in December against Quinton Jackson. Beating him in Japan, the same place where he won the PRIDE Heavyweight Title, Fedor appeared to close that chapter of his career. Now, with two more fights left on his current deal with Bellator, it will be interesting to see who is there for him to face.
With COVID-19 affecting plans for fights, Fedor is ready to fight whenever but is also interested in biding his time.
“I don’t necessarily feel a sense of urgency (to compete), but I also don’t want to wait too long, either,” Emelianenko stated to MMA Junkie. “If there are no people in the audience then the TV audience is that much larger. It doesn’t take away from the fight. Eyeballs are still watching.”
“I have a meeting with Scott (Coker) to discuss what the future holds as far as fighting. Obviously, (the pandemic) is unfortunate. Tomorrow there will be a fight without fans, but these are the times we’re living in.”
Fedor has been working with Coker since his days in Strikeforce. On a 28-fight unbeaten streak between 2001 and 2010, Fedor finally met his match in his second Strikeforce fight. The second loss of his career came via submission at the hands of Fabricio Werdum. It was considered a shocking moment in MMA history.
Werdum (24-9-1), a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Werdum appeared to have had his final bout with the UFC. After beating Alexander Gustafsson on “Fight Island”, Werdum expressed a desire to run it back against Fedor.
“For myself, yes, I would like to fight him,” Emelianenko went on to say regarding Werdum. “Whether that’s a fight fans are interested in seeing or Bellator is interested in putting on, I don’t know that.”
Working with both men, Coker wouldn’t say no if they were interested. He must look at all the angles surrounding a clash, and if it can all work out.
“I love Fabricio, and it’s something really that’s Fedor’s decision,” Coker said. “One of the things I’m going to talk to Fedor (about) tonight is, ‘Is this an important fight for you?’ Whatever he says, then we’ll go make it happen. If it’s an important fight to him, then we’ll probably put it together. If not, it doesn’t mean we won’t still pursue Fabricio.”
Coker is adamant that Fedor would need to fight in front of fans, which has been an issue with the pandemic. One option would be to fight outside of the United States, as several areas in Europe are starting to open up. Destinations for Fedor’s request and potential final hoorah could end up being in Russia or Japan once again, under the RIZIN banner.
“He’s the greatest heavyweight of all time,” Coker went on to say regarding Fedor. “For me, it would be a shame for him to fight in an arena where there’s nobody there to watch his last few fights. We’re going to play it by ear.”