Scott Coker rules out Moscow retirement fight for Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Emelianenko
Mandatory Credit: Bellator MMA

Bellator MMA leader, Scott Coker has confirmed that earmarked plans for iconic heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko to make a retirement outing in Moscow have been shelved indefinitely, amid the ongoing conflict between the invading, Russia and neighboring, Ukraine. 

Emelianenko, recognized as arguably the greatest heavyweight to ever compete in the sport and one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time, last competed back in October at the VTB Arena in Moscow, headlining a home country return with a stunning, vintage first round knockout win over former interim heavyweight title challenger, Timothy Johnson.

The former Pride FC heavyweight champion and Grand Prix victor was expected to land another Russia homecoming for his expected retirement fight later this year, however, given the ongoing and escalating invasion of Ukraine by Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, Bellator president, Coker has confirmed that plans to host an event in Red Square for Emelanenko’s retirement have been scrapped. 

“It’s definitely not going to happen in Moscow this year,” Scott Coker said of Fedor Emelianenko fighting in Russia for his retirement fight during a press conference following Bellator 276. “We’re not gonna do Fedor’s retirement fight there (Russia) for obvious reasons. We’ll be looking for an alternative site at some point, but we’re going to sit down with Fedor when he comes to (Bellator 277) in San Jose and see what he’s thinking.”

“We had an amazing show planned in Moscow,” Scott Coker explained. “I don’t even mind telling you thins but we originally had approval to do the fight in Red Square, and it was going to be such a great sendoff for the GOAT in my opinion. Now, we have to pivot and create something else that’s great, find another venue, and find another amazing site because he (Fedor Emelianenko) deserves to have a great sendoff – and we’ll do that – we just don’t know where yet.” (Transcribed by MMA Fighting)

Prior to his win over Johnson last October, Emelinaneko had secured a victory over Quinton Jackson at Bellator 237 – adding his fellow Pride FC alum to a list of remarkable wins over the likes of Ricardo Arona, Renato Sobral, Semmy Schilt, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Gary Goodridge, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt, Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, Frank Mir, and Chael Sonnen.

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