“The last emperor” has just proven that he still has some reign in him.
Fedor Emelianenko spent nearly a decade at the top of the sport as the world’s number one heavyweight MMA fighter, going 31-1-1 in the first nine years of his career. His second decade of fighting was less perfect but still impressive at 8-5. And now he’s started the third decade 1-0 after knocking out Tim Johnson in 1:40 at Bellator 269 in Moscow, Russia (watch the highlights here).
“I’m really happy that everything turned out the same way we thought it would,” Emelianenko said through an interpreter after the event. “I am very happy that we have made the audience happy and that we have brought such great joy to our fans, to those who follow our careers and the Bellator events. “
Fedor was never too talkative and walked away from the virtual press conference after the event without confirming whether he would fight for the last fight of his Bellator contract or walk away at 44 with that latest victory.
“I will answer this question tomorrow,” Emelianenko said.
But if he returns, it looks like he would prefer his next fight to be in America due to all the extra attention he received in his home country this time around.
“It’s a lot easier for me to play in America,” admitted Emelianenko. “I don’t have such huge, huge attention. I call attention, but all events are strictly planned. With us, our whole camp and our preparation for combat, they took place under the supervision of the media, journalists, etc.
Bellator chairman Scott Coker was unwilling to make any firm statements on Fedor’s future after the event, but made it clear that the current plan is to involve Emelianenko in the United States in early 2022. .
“We have one more fight planned for him,” Coker revealed. ” I know him. He looked really good and beat a competitor, but let him enjoy the victory. Let him really savor this thing, and we’ll be back with him maybe in a month. I think the next event that we have, we’ll probably schedule it for the beginning of next year or maybe the spring of next year. This is when you will see Fedor fighting again.
“I just want to enjoy this moment and I think he just wants to enjoy this moment. So talk to us in maybe two or three weeks and we will have an answer for you.
Fedor looked fast and furious in his first fight since a December 2019 victory over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
“I was like wow, at 45 he can still bring it,” Coker exclaimed. “He threw combinations at Tim that I haven’t seen in a while, honestly. I think the pressure of being home really helped him. When I saw him yesterday he seemed so focused and I think a lot was at stake for him. He’s here and he’s proud to be here, all his people here, it was just an amazing night. Unbelievable. “
“I can’t remember the last time Tim was knocked out or if he ever got knocked out,” Coker continued. “Fedor, he threw combinations at Tim like I was, man, the speed of his hand is still there. Its speed of contraction is still there. He proved it. He proved to me that he was still the greatest of all time… I was sitting around David Green, Javier Mendez and Khabib, and we were just talking about how, ‘Jesus’. Amazing at 45, he can still wear it like this. It’s amazing, it’s like time has stood still for him.