Emelianenko recently announced his return to Bellator after a long hiatus from competition. Bellator president Scott Coker also said that Emelianenko will make his return to the octagon in style at Bellator 269 in his native Russia.
Although an opponent hasn’t been officially booked for the October 23rd event in Moscow, Hager has thrown his name in the hat of potential matchups for the card. He made his transition from professional wrestling to MMA back in 2017 when he signed with Bellator, although he still participates in All Elite Wrestling.
During a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Hager went all-in on a potential fight with Emelianenko for the legend’s return to the promotion.
“Just because I have a shorter career doesn’t mean I’m not as worthy,” Hager told MMA Fighting. “I have a bigger following, I have more excitement behind me, and I have a brighter future than all of those guys. So give it to me [Bellator President] Scott [Coker], because I’m the one that you’re going to build this company on, not those guys that are just coming in for a one-and-done. I’m here for the next 10 years. Let’s go.”
Hager has accumulated a 3-0-1 record since making the move to MMA, including a razor-thin split-decision win over Brandon Calton at Bellator 250 last October. He has yet to fight in 2021 in Bellator’s heavyweight division, which includes the reigning champion, Ryan Bader.
Alistair Overeem, Junior dos Santos, Anderson Silva, and Fabricio Werdum are just a few of the names along with Hager that have been rumored into consideration for Emelianenko‘s next bout. Regardless of whether or not he ends up getting his wish, it’s eye-opening that Hager seems unfazed by one of the greatest MMA fighters in the sport’s history.
Do you think Fedor Emelianenko should fight Jake Hager in his return to Bellator?