During the final fight of his illustrious career, Emelianenko faced off against Ryan Bader for the Bellator heavyweight title. The fight was a disaster for Emelianenko, who was stopped by Bader halfway through the opening round, ending the career of one of the sport’s iconic fighters. Emelianenko admits he hasn’t dwelled on the loss much, attributing it to the terrible lead-up to the fight.
“The camp itself was an absolute disaster. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. I just wanted to finish it since it was my last fight on the contract,” Emelianenko explained to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.
Emelianenko went on to detail the various problems, including pandemic-related changes, injuries, illness, visa issues, and even receiving two left gloves right before the fight. Despite the countless setbacks, he says he didn’t postpone the fight as he just wanted to be done with it.
Best known for his dominant period in the 2010s as the Pride FC heavyweight champion, Emelianenko spent the last six years of his career in Bellator. The promotion had intended for his retirement fight to take place in Russia in 2022, but complications arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused delays, leading to further challenges in his preparation.
During his training camp, Emelianenko faced hurdles such as contracting the coronavirus, followed by the flu, then dealing with a hernia. Visa issues also cost him valuable preparation time. “So a few weeks of fighting was lost, the last few weeks of preparation,” he lamented.
Even in the final moments before the fight, mishaps continued. “When they brought the gloves to me, I opened the bag. I was supposed to get prepared for the fight — it was right before the fight, so it was time to warm up — and there were two left gloves. It was a lot of small things,” he recounted.
Despite these numerous setbacks, Emelianenko appears content with his final fight and is looking to transition to boxing, possibly against Mike Tyson. His last moment in the cage, celebrated by a collection of MMA legends organized by Scott Coker after Bellator 290, remains a fond memory for “The Last Emperor.”
“It certainly means a lot to me,” Emelianenko reflected. “I have friendships with some of those who entered the cage, some I shared the cage with, and some I still speak to. The support, friendship, and sportsmanship definitely mean a lot to me. I’m very pleased that Scott Coker managed to put together a show like that.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: Fedor Emelianenko
Who did Fedor Emelianenko fight in his retirement match?
Fedor Emelianenko fought Ryan Bader in his retirement match at Bellator 290, challenging him for the Bellator heavyweight title.
What went wrong for Emelianenko leading up to his retirement fight?
Emelianenko’s training camp was filled with mishaps, including the coronavirus, the flu, a hernia, visa issues, and even receiving two left gloves right before the fight. The pandemic also caused numerous delays and changes in plans, leading to a terrible lead-up to the fight.
What was the result of Emelianenko’s final fight?
Ryan Bader stopped Fedor Emelianenko at the halfway mark of the very first round, ending Emelianenko’s career with a loss in his retirement fight.
What are Fedor Emelianenko’s plans after retirement from MMA?
Fedor Emelianenko plans to transition to boxing after his retirement from MMA, and he has expressed interest in a potential matchup against Mike Tyson.
How did Bellator celebrate Emelianenko’s retirement?
After Emelianenko’s retirement fight at Bellator 290, Scott Coker arranged for a collection of MMA legends to enter the cage to honor “The Last Emperor,” something that Emelianenko looks back on fondly.
How does Emelianenko feel about his final fight?
Despite the numerous problems during his training camp and the loss in his final fight, Emelianenko seems to be at peace with it being his last bout. He has not dwelled on the loss much and is content with the way his MMA career ended.