Fedor Emelianenko is considered one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time. The retired Russian fighter dominated the heavyweight division for over a decade, earning the nickname “The Last Emperor” for his impressive record and reign as champion. Throughout his career, Emelianenko won numerous titles and accolades and is widely regarded as one of the pioneers of the sport.
In recent years, many fans have speculated about Emelianenko’s plans for after retirement. With the recent retirement of Khabib Nurmagomedov, one of the biggest stars in the sport, many have wondered if Emelianenko will follow a similar path.
It’s worth noting that many retired MMA fighters have chosen to remain involved in the sport after hanging up their gloves. This is often due to the deep passion and connection that these athletes have for the sport. Whether it’s through coaching, commentating, or working with promotions, there are many ways for retired fighters to stay involved in MMA.
In the case of Khabib Nurmagomedov, he announced his retirement from MMA following his final fight in October 2020. However, he has since remained active in the sport, serving as a coach for his younger fighters. Despite his retirement from competition, Nurmagomedov continues to be a dominant force in the sport, and his influence can still be felt in the UFC and the wider MMA community. But last year, Nurmagomedov suddenly retired again as he couldn’t give proper time to his loved ones and had to travel for a long period. This time planned to leave MMA entirely.
“This is Khabib’s decision,” Emelianenko continued. “That’s his choice. We spend so much time outside of our families because of the sport in [training] camps, sometimes you call it quits, and that’s it, especially when you have young kids and they’re waiting for you.”
Emelianenko does not strongly feel that he will quit as Khabib Nurmagomedov did. Fedor disclosed his plans during the Bellator 290 pre-fight press conference. The PRIDE legend said that he still has the wisdom to share with younger athletes that he instructs because fighting is in his DNA.
“Of course, I’ll be involved still because I have my team,” Emelianenko explained at the Bellator 290 pre-fight press conference. “These guys are like family to me. No matter what’s going to happen, I’ll be next to them all the time. I will try to do my best and help them in any way I can. All my life I was in sport. The sport is part of my life.”
This next Saturday, "The Last Emperor" will take the last walk against Ryan Bader. The duo will square off in a showdown for the heavyweight championship at Bellator 290. The legend was once defeated by "Darth" in the heavyweight Grand Prix finals in 2019.
In conclusion, the retirement of Fedor Emelianenko from the MMA competition is likely to be a significant event in the history of the sport. Whether he chooses to remain involved in MMA in a coaching or commentating role, or steps away from the sport entirely in the future, Emelianenko’s impact on the sport will undoubtedly be felt for years to come.