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Fedor Emelianenko eyes wild fantasy boxing match with Mike Tyson: ‘It would be interesting’

Bellator 290: Bader vs. Fedor 2 at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, CA Photo by Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Fedor Emelianenko has a dream match up in mind.

The legendary “Last Emperor” Emelianenko’s mixed martial arts (MMA) run came to an end in Feb. 2023, but the arguably greatest Heavyweight of all time isn’t done with combat sports. In fact, he’s come up with one of the more ridiculous crossover ideas.

In Nov. 2020, boxing icon, Mike Tyson, re-entered the ring for the first time in 14 years for an exhibition match against Roy Jones Jr. The match was ultimately ruled a draw (watch highlights) but captivated many combat sports fans around the globe who either never saw Tyson fight or never thought they’d get to see him fight again. Emelianenko was in that mix.

“We watched the fight on TV of Roy Jones Jr. vs. Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson would be an interesting fight,” Emelianenko said on The MMA Hour. “He has a big name, he’s a legend. ... It would be interesting because you can see a lot of his videos on YouTube and all over the place, he’s still in good shape. He still works pads, he still has that same power.

“Right now I’m 47, but I started boxing when I was 23,” he added. “Over half of my life, I’ve done boxing. Everybody knows that I’m mostly a wrestler, sambo, judo. I was on the national sambo and judo teams, but you can see in my fights that I’m pretty good at boxing as well. Of course, I’m not as good as Mike Tyson, but it would be interesting.”

Emelianenko would have the rare youth advantage against the 57-year-old Tyson at this stage in his career. Ahead of his final fight — a rematch with Bellator Heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader — Emelianenko had what he called a terrible camp and ultimately suffered a first round technical knockout defeat (watch highlights). The loss was only the seventh of his illustrious 48-fight career (40-7, 1 no contest) and when it comes to caged combat, don’t expect a comeback.

“MMA is done, 100 percent,” Emelianenko said. “I’m not going back to MMA. I want to try myself in boxing. I think that’s going to be interesting.

“After the last fight with Bader, I took a break,” he continued. “I started lifting weights a little bit, got some muscles back so my injuries are going away, so my shoulder feels better a little bit, and I started boxing, so I feel pretty good and pretty confident in boxing.”


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