Cris Cyborg Pays Respect to Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 290 Press Conference

Cyborg and "The Last Emperor" shared a special moment at Bellator 290's post press conference.

Cyborg On Fedor
Cyborg On Fedor - Image via @criscyborg Instagram
  • Cris Cyborg personally wished Fedor Emelianenko all the best in the next chapter of his life
  • “The Last Emperor” retired after his TKO loss to Ryan Bader at Bellator 290

Reigning Bellator women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg took the opportunity to tell her idol Fedor Emelianenko that she wished him all the best now that he has decided to retire from MMA. The Russian MMA legend called it quits after losing to Ryan Bader in his farewell fight at Bellator 290.

Paying homage to her favorite fighter

Sitting alongside reporters in the front row of Emelianenko’s Bellator 290 post-fight presser, Cyborg got the chance to grab the microphone and personally pay homage to “The Last Emperor.” Below was how the short but special exchange between the two Bellator superstars went down:

Cyborg: “I wanna say I’m a big fan of yours. I started my career watching your fights. [Watching] You beating everybody like nothing in the ring. When I watch your fights, it motivates me. And for sure everything I do in the ring [is] because [I] learned a lot from watching your fights. And I wish the best for you… for the next chapter of your career, in your life, I wish you the best.”

Emelianenko (via a translator): “Thank you very much. I wish you all the best… I want you to be happy and work with a lot of happiness.”

Fedor is arguably the heavyweight GOAT

Emelianenko spent almost half of his illustrious MMA career being lauded by many as the greatest heavyweight fighter of all time. But unlike Cyborg, Fedor never got to compete in the UFC due to conflicts over agreement during the time a potential deal was being discussed.

Nevertheless, it’s easy to see why Cyborg became a huge fan of Emelianenko. For one, “The Last Emperor” scored a number of vicious KO wins throughout his professional career, specifically the highlight-worthy one against Andre Arlovski in 2009.

UFC president Dana White still refused to hail Emelianenko as MMA’s heavyweight GOAT simply because the Russian wasn’t able to test himself in the promotion he runs. Still, the fact remains that Emelianenko has defeated a wide array of UFC legends and former champions, including Arlovski, Mark Coleman, Mark Hunt, Tim Sylvia, and Frank Mir.

Emelianenko retired with an impressive MMA record of 40-7-1. Cyborg, meanwhile, has remained unbeaten in Bellator and has successfully defended her featherweight belt against Arlene Blencowe at Bellator 279.

Published on February 5, 2023 at 11:05 am
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