MIAMI – If all goes according to plan, Fedor Emelinaneko will fight once more in his native Russia, and Bellator wants to make it an extra special occasion.
Bellator president Scott Coker said the promotion is currently targeting a summer date in Moscow, where he promises to host a “massive” send-off for the all-time great.
“I think that we’re planning something really, you know, large-scale event in Russia for him as his farewell, sending off as far as having this illustrious career being the greatest heavyweight of all time,” Coker told MMA Junkie.
The 45-year-old Emelianenko (40-6 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) headlined this past month’s Bellator 269 event in Russia, where he scored a devastating first-round knockout over Tim Johnson. While some wondered if the quick win might be the perfect way for the former PRIDE champ to call it a career, Coker said he has something even bigger planned for next year.
“It was really amazing to see at 45 him still, you know, throw a three-punch combination like that, like he was 25 years old,” Coker said. “It was unbelievable, and the place, when it erupted, it was just like this ‘Rocky’ ending to the storybook, right? And we’re going to have one more. It’s going to be massive. It’ll probably be next summer.
“It’ll be in Moscow. He wants to fight in Russia for us, his last fight, so we’re going to do it there, and we have some great plans. Again, this is going to be a massive send-off. This is not going to just be a normal fight, and we’re going to do – it’s going to be something really special, and we’re already starting to plan it right now.”
Coker declined to name any potential opponents but did seem to rule out a crack at Bellator’s heavyweight title, with current champ Ryan Bader currently set to face Emelinaneko’s student, reigning interim champ Valentin Moldavsky.
In the meantime, the promotion returns to action with Friday’s Bellator 271, which takes place at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. The night’s main card airs on Showtime following prelims on MMA Junkie.
To see the full interview with Coker, check out the video below.
Fedor Emelianenko def. Tim Johnson at Bellator 269: Best photos
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