Former undisputed UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov has noted his interest in potentially working in a cross-promotion capacity with Bellator MMA – booking a heavyweight matchup between esteemed division icons, Junior dos Santos, and Fedor Emelianenko.
Khabib, the current leader of Eagle Fight Club, retired from professional mixed martial arts back in October 2020 – boasting an undefeated, 29-0 professional record following a successful title unification win against Justin Gaethje.
In the time since, the American Kickboxing Academy mainstay has began training and cornering fighters as well as running the operations of the aforenoted promotion, Eagle Fight Club – who have established a base in Florida.
Speaking ahead of Eagle Fight Club 47 on Friday, Khabib noted his interest in booking former UFC heavyweight champion, Junior dos Santos against Emelianenko in the future – should the former overcome Yorgan de Castro in his promotional bow.
“If Junior dos Santos wins, I really want to make dos Santos vs. Fedor (Emelianenko) fight,” Khabib Nurmagomedov told assembled media at a press event on Wednesday. “But he has to focus on Yorgan (de Castro) for next, because this fighter here is tough opponent. I want to talk with my friend, Scott Coker, because Fedor is under Bellator contract. I don’t know what they’re gonna do next with him, but definitely, we can talk, and we can do something. We can create some story. …”
“Why not?” Khabib Nurmagomedov asked. “These two guys was long tiem the face of MMA. Fedor was the greatest fighter of all time in my opinion, and dos Santos was heavyweight champion a couple years in UFC. These two guys, I think they deserve and fans deserve. For me, it’s a very interesting matchup, too.”
Junior dos Santos also seems receptive to a pairing with Fedor Emelianenko
As far as Santa Catarina veteran, dos Santos is concerned, a potential matchup against Emelianenko certainly appears to pique his interest.
“I’m a big, big, BIG fan of Fedor, and I really believe – like Khabib said – that is the greatest,” Junior dos Santos said. “That was a magical time in the MMA world when he did those amazing fights with ‘Big Nog’. I wasn’t even fighting at that time, but I was such a fan of them. For me, because I trained with ‘Big Nog’, as well, it was always kind of a dream, the biggest thing I would like to achieve in my career would be to fight Fedor. So to hear that may be possible now, it’s just amazing.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)
In his final Octagon appearance before his UFC release, dos Santos suffered a second round knockout loss to former interim division champion, Ciryl Gane, while Emelianenko managed to scoop a stunning first round knockout win over Timothy Johnson in a Moscow homecoming at Bellator 269 last October.