MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko’s last fight in the Bellator cage won’t take place in Moscow amidst the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Emelianenko is coming off of a violent knockout of former interim title challenger Tim Johnson last October. He returned to fight in front of the Russian faithful and delivered one of his best performances in recent memory.
Bellator and Coker had previously planned to have Emelianenko fight one more time in Moscow, but those plans have been scratched amidst the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Bellator became the latest organization in sports to take a stand against Russia’s actions and disruption of the world order.
Emelianenko has recently called for a rematch with Bellator Heavyweight Champion Ryan Bader before he rides off into the sunset. Bader will face Cheick Kongo later this year at Bellator Paris.
During his Bellator 276 post-fight press conference, Coker confirmed that Emelianenko’s planned last fight won’t take place in his home country.
“It’s definitely not going to happen in Moscow this year,” Coker said of Emelianenko’s next fight. “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’s comments come after a slew of MMA fighters, including Bellator welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov, have spoken out and defended Ukraine against the Russian forces.
Before his win over Johnson, Emelianenko had won three of his previous four fights over the likes of Rampage Jackson, Chael Sonnen, and Frank Mir. He lost to Bader for the heavyweight tournament championship at Bellator 214 via first-round knockout.
Depending on how things play out in the upcoming Bader vs. Kongo fight, Emelianenko could face the winner for his final outing. He’s arguably the greatest heavyweight fighter in MMA history and would love the opportunity to go out on top.
Who do you want to see Fedor Emelianenko fight before he retires?