Scott Coker: Josh Barnett May Be Next For Fedor Emelianenko

Scott Coker
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Bellator President Scott Coker already has a next fight in mind for Fedor Emelianenko’s retirement tour. ‘The Last Emperor’ wiped out Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson in Japan this weekend. Despite some confusion about his possible retirement, Fedor will fight on. And it could be against former UFC champion Josh Barnett. Speaking to MMA Junkie post-fight at Bellator 237 the promotor said that’s a fight the company would look to make.

“The guy that keeps knocking on the door is Josh Barnett,” Coker said. “He had an unfortunate situation two weeks ago, or a week ago in Hawaii. He was sick. I’ve been texting with him, and he’s recovering and getting back. He’d like to fight end of January, but I said that’s not going to happen because L.A. is already so booked up.

“But we’ll get Josh in there against the same opponent (Brazil’s Ronny Markes), and we’ll see how it works out. We’ll see if it’s something Fedor wants to do. I know Barnett would like to do it. He tells me he’d like to fight Fedor, so maybe that’s a fight we can put together.”

Coker did admit though in the end any decision will be made by Fedor. The MMA legend has more than earned the right to pick the final opponents of his career.

“It’s really about what Fedor wants. To me, I want him to feel respected by this sport. I feel like it’s our job to make sure that, as long as he wants to continue in this next year, we’re going to do it. If he really said he wanted to retire tonight I would’ve been all about it. I would’ve been like, ‘Hey, Fedor. Whatever you want.’ But I was in the back talking to his guys, and if we can do a fight in Moscow one day, I really feel like it’s like ‘the king has returned.” (Transcribed by MMA Junkie)

Who should Fedor Emelianenko fight next?