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Bellator 290: Randy Couture, Rampage Jackson, Chuck Liddell and more to take part in Fedor’s retirement celebration

There’s a nostalgic feeling in the combat sports air this week as the career of one of the most storied fighters to ever grace a ring or cage will come to an end this Sat. night (Feb. 4, 2023) as Fedor Emelianenko will make the competitive walk one final time.

“The Last Emperor” is scheduled to face Heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader, in the five-round championship main event at Bellator 290 inside Kia Forum in Los Angeles, Calif., and there will be plenty of MMA stars, both past and present, to see him off once the dust settles.

Bellator president Scott Coker has invited a multitude of legends from the fight game to take part in a retirement celebration for Fedor at the conclusion of the event.

“This happened in an organic manner,” Coker said during a recent interview on The MMA Hour. “We started getting calls from different fighters that wanted to come to the fight and watch Fedor fight. So one of the first calls I got was from Randy Couture saying, ‘Hey, I’d like to attend his last fight.’ I said, ‘Great.’ Then Dan Henderson said, ‘Hey, I’d really like to be there.’ Royce Gracie wanted to come, so he’s there. Mark Coleman will be in attendance.

“All these legends of the sport that really are the roots and the foundation of MMA started calling and we said, look, this is a very special occasion. We’re going to have all these O.G.s, legends from the days that really built MMA, why don’t we do something special?

“It’s really the who’s-who of MMA from that era. And this is the end of an era, the page is really turning to the next chapter of mixed martial arts. But Fedor is ‘The Last Emperor’ and this is his last stand and all these gentlemen will go into the cage as Fedor is probably saying his speech and he’s going to retire and they’re going to stand behind him and when Fedor gets up from putting his gloves down, they’re all going to be there to congratulate him. This is a ceremony and a great sendoff to the greatest heavyweight of all time.”

If anyone deserves such a sendoff into retirement, it’s Fedor.

First things first: Emelianenko will try to get his revenge on the man who knocked him out in 35 seconds three years ago and ride off into the sunset as the 265-pound champion; a feat not too many have been able to accomplish.

Should “The Last Emperor” go out on top it would be the perfect fairytale ending to a career that has spanned nearly 25 years as a professional, cementing his legacy as the greatest of all time.

For more Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive archive right here.

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