For most mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters, the idea of competing in a grand prix tournament (like this one) and defeating the best opponents your promotion has to offer would be something worth getting excited for.
Then again, Fedor Emelianenko is not most fighters.
“The Last Emperor” is indeed fired up to throw hands under the Bellator MMA banner, where he’ll meet Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) import Frank Mir this May, but not because of the prospect of becoming tournament champion.
He just needed a reason to stay in shape.
“Now I’m going to stay in shape for a whole year, which is exciting,” Emelianenko told MMA Junkie when asked about his motivation. Though to be fair, he did say he would be “very happy” with a victory.
Let’s just hope God is on his side.
Emelianenko (36-5, 1 NC) turned 41 back in September and is coming off a technical knockout loss to UFC import Matt Mitrione. “The Last Emperor” has not looked competitive against top-tier competition in many moons.
Time for a late-career comeback?