MMA LEGEND SAYS HE PLANS ON RETURNING TO THE SPORT HE LEFT IN 2012.
Fedor Emelianenko is known as a man of few words so when the retired Russian heavyweight tweeted #fedorisback from his personal account this morning there was little room for ambiguity.
It seems the 38-year old will be fighting for the first time since 2012 with Bellator looking to be his most likely destination.
Fedor (34-4-0-1) famously signed with Strikeforce in 2009 after negotiations between M-1 and the UFC broke down. He arrived in the US with a stellar reputation but his status as the greatest heavyweight of all time was severely damaged by three straight first round stoppage losses.
He was submitted in the opening round by current UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in 2010 in one of the biggest upsets in MMA history. Fedor was then stopped with strikes by both Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson meaning his Strikeforce stint ended with an ignominious 1-3 streak.
Fedor went on to beat Jeff Monson, Satoshi Ishii and Pedro Rizzo fighting for M-1 and Dream before announcing his retirement in 2012. Rumours about a return have circulated ever since and today’s tweet from ‘The Last Emperor’ gave credence to recent reports that he was negotiating with Bellator.
During his peak Fedor won heavyweight tournaments with Rings and Pride, defeating the likes of Mirko Crocop, Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, mark Hunt, Renato Sobral, Mark Coleman, Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski to establish himself as the best pound for pound fighter on the planet in the minds of many MMA fans.
He will be 39 in September and has not fought for over three years but Bellator CEO Scott Coker has recently shown a willingness to put together matchups involving big name fighters who are past their prime and Fedor would seem to fit the bill.
Assuming that he does decide to make his comeback in the Bellator cage the list of potential opponents for him includes Cheick Kongo, Tony Johnson, Bobby Lashley, Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock while the reigning champion is undefeated Russian Vitaly Minakov who has been described as ‘the next Fedor’.