The long and successful career of a mixed martial arts legend is coming to an end. Fedor Emelianenko will be making his last walk to the cage on Saturday at Bellator 290. In many circles, Emelianenko is said to be the best heavyweight of all time. He has had 47 professional fights spanning over twenty years in multiple different fight promotions. Now at 46 years old, Emelianenko is ready to hang his gloves up for good.
Emelianenko will be facing Ryan Bader for the Bellator heavyweight world title on Saturday night with the hopes of going out on top. He has won his last two with Bellator and one more would be like icing on the cake that is his career. He has been with Bellator since 2017 but might be best known for his time in Pride. Throughout his long career, the one organization that never seemed to be the right fit was the UFC. Many believe that the UFC never signing Emelianenko is one of their all-time blunders. To “The Last Emperor” it does not matter.
He explained on The MMA Hour that he holds no regrets about not fighting in the UFC. He said through a translator that if it was meant to happen it would have.
Fedor Emelianenko names his favorite matchup from his long career
There will never be a UFC fight on Emelianenko’s resume as he prepares to retire, but there are many bouts on there that may go down in history. He has fought some of the best fighters in the world and has been involved in some absolute classics over the last 23 years or so. Now on the precipice of retirement, Emelianenko names which of his 47 fights was his favorite.
“The first fight with Antônio Nogueira,” he said through a translator. “He was number one at the moment, he was the champion of Pride, he had the belt and I had to activate my fighter IQ at 100 percent. It was very very challenging on the ground and all over. And thank God I was able to do it.”
Win or lose on Saturday night it will be the last time fans see this legend inside the cage. He admits that he will still be involved in MMA but will not compete.