Could this weekend’s (Sat. January 26, 2019) Bellator 214 event be the last time mixed martial arts (MMA) fans see Fedor Emelianenko?
“The Last Emperor” has been a staple in the heavyweight division of mixed martial arts (MMA) since 2000. This weekend, Emelianenko will step into the cage to challenge for the vacant Bellator heavyweight championship.
He’ll face light heavyweight titleholder Ryan Bader. Speaking to media recently, Emelianenko admitted he’s thinking “more and more” about retirement at this point in his career (via MMA Fighting):
“To tell the truth, at the age I’m at right now, more and more I am thinking about retiring,” Emelianenko said. “I cannot answer this question at this moment.
“But I am willing to take some rest and then decide. It is not because I don’t want to fight. Definitely it is because of the age, you know, and injuries that I have.”
Emelianenko and Bader were put through the ringer in Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix Tournament for the opportunity to fight for the title. Emelianenko defeated Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen to get to the finals. As for Bader, he defeated Muhammed Lawal and Matt Mitrione to maintain his perfect Bellator record.
Now, they’ll lock horns with one another in the main event of Bellator 214 from The Forum in Inglewood, California.