Fedor Emelianenko is planning to conclude his illustrious mixed martial arts career under the Bellator MMA banner.
The California-based promotion announced over the weekend that the legendary Russian has signed an exclusive multi-fight contract for what has been billed as a “farewell tour” in a Bellator release.
“I am pleased that we were able to sign Fedor, the greatest heavyweight of all time, to a new contract extension,” Bellator president Scott Coker said. “He is someone that I consider a friend in this business and am even more pleased that he has decided to finish his storied career with Bellator.
“There are exciting matchups for him here in Bellator that I know will appeal to his fans from the past, as well as new fans from his recent run in the tournament. As his time in the sport winds down, I am happy to see him close out his career on his own terms.”
While nothing has been finalized, Quinton Jackson and Josh Barnett are a couple potential opponents that have been mentioned for Emelianenko as part of his swan song in the sport.
Emelianenko recently competed in Bellator’s heavyweight grand prix, where he bested Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen to reach the finals before falling to Ryan Bader via technical knockout in just 35 seconds. Now 42 years old, “The Last Emperor” owns a 38-6 career mark with one non contest.
"My strong friendship and respect for Scott Coker made reaching a contract extension a simple process,” Emelianenko said. “Bellator is my home — I look forward to helping Bellator continue to grow and reach its full potential as the world's top MMA promotion.”
Emelianenko is expected to fight again before the conclusion of 2019.