Fedor Emelianenko still isn’t interested in making a comeback. | Taro Irei/Sherdog.com
Fedor Emelianenko will be making an appearance at an upcoming Bellator event, but his presence doesn’t mean the heavyweight legend plans on stepping back into the cage anytime soon.
Emelianenko is slated to attend Bellator MMA’s Fan Fest on Feb. 26 at Dave and Buster’s in Manchester, Conn., ahead of the promotion’s "British Invasion" card. According to Bellator President Scott Coker, “The Last Emperor’s” impending stateside arrival does not signal a return to active competition for the 38-year-old Russian.
“When I was in Japan over the New Year’s Eve [holiday] I sat down and had a nice chat with a lot of different fighters – and said hi to Fedor,” Coker told Sherdog.com following Bellator 133. “We’ve been talking since then. I said, ‘Because the fans over here have not seen you for three years probably…why don’t you came back and be part of our Fan Fest?’ I explained what it is to him, and he said he would love to.
“So he’s coming over here, but he’s not coming to fight. He’s coming here as an ambassador for the sport of MMA and Bellator.”
Coker previously told Sherdog.com that he planned to to gauge Emelianenko’s interest in returning to MMA during his trip to Japan to attend Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2014 at the end of last year. While he did discuss that topic with the former Pride Fighting Championships standout, Emelianenko is simply not interested at the moment.
“I asked him and he said, ‘I don’t want to fight.’ I said, ‘OK, I understand.’ Believe me, if he ever changes his mind, we definitely will have a conversation,” Coker said.
Along with Emelianenko, Royce Gracie, Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock will also be in attendance at the event, where fans will be able to take pictures and get autographs from the fighters.
Bellator MMA’s “British Invasion” takes place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., on Feb. 27 and is headlined by a light heavyweight title tilt between Emanuel Newton and Liam McGeary. The card also includes a featured heavyweight clash pitting Cheick Kongo against Muhammed Lawal.
The event is one of four “tent pole” offerings the promotion plans on holding in 2015, larger-scale shows that highlight Bellator’s biggest stars.
“We’ll have some big announcements on that weekend,” Coker said.