Long-time mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran Fedor Emelianenko is set to make his long-awaited return to action following the announcement that he will headline Bellator MMA’s inaugural show in Moscow, Russia, on Oct. 23, 2021.
Emelianenko, 44, joined Bellator head honcho Scott Coker during a special media conference call earlier today (Fri., June 25, 2021) to announce his cage-fighting comeback.
Fedor hasn’t competed since stopping former PRIDE FC stablemate Quinton Jackson via strikes at Bellator 237 in Dec. 2019. Prior to that, “The Last Emperor” suffered a first-round knockout loss at the hands of Ryan Bader.
“The Russian fans are excited for Bellator to come to Russia. We have a lot of fans worldwide and they are excited,” Fedor said (via a translator). “The fighters are excited to show their skills in a Russian arena.”
While no names were tossed around, Coker revealed they are still discussing the perfect dance partner for Emelianenko, who has just two fights remaining on his Bellator MMA contract.
“We are in the process of working out the opponent still,” Coker said. “We have had a lot of offers, a lot of names that have popped up as you can imagine. We still have to talk about it and that is the one thing we will figure out.
“As far as the Moscow date, it’s a big moment in the company and a big personal goal of mine,” he concluded. “And doing it with Fedor, it is going to be an exciting night.”
All things considered, the living legend has actually done well for himself over the last 10 years, going 8-2 since Nov. 2011, bouncing back nicely after suffering three straight losses under the Strikeforce umbrella. While many hardcore fans would prefer to see Emelianenko call it a day to prevent tarnishing his legacy with potential losses, the former PRIDE FC Heavyweight champion intends to fulfill the final two bouts remaining on his contract.
We have a date, now we leave it to you to predict/suggest who Fedor should be facing in his first fight in his home country in more than five years.