Fedor Emelianenko
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Fedor Emelianenko Is Back

It has long been rumored that Fedor Emelianenko would be making his return to Bellator, and with the recent announcement of his return to the October 23rd event in Moscow, fans have been wondering who he would be getting into the cage with. During a recent media scrum, Bellator President Scott Coker threw out a few names that should make fans very eager to see mix it up with Emelianenko.

Full quote from NBCSports.com:

“There is a long laundry list of people who have raised their hands to come fight Fedor in Russia,” Coker said. “I’m sure you guys all know the names that have been thrown out there. We’re gonna evaluate it and I’m going to talk to Fedor [Saturday] morning to see what he’s thinking. I know what he’s going to say — ‘You guys pick it out’ — but I think we should let him go home, think about it [and] talk to his coaches.

“The managers of all the free agents are calling,” Coker continued. “Josh Barnett was texting me today. I’ve talked to [Junior dos Santos’] manager a couple of days ago, Alistair Overeem, the list goes on and on and on. There’s a lot [of names] that could be a possibility, but we’ll figure it out. Like I said, there’s a long list of guys who want to compete against the greatest heavyweight of all-time, and if I was those guys I’d be raising my hand too.”

The 44-year-old Russian has won three of his last four fights, all coming by way of a finish. His wins under the Bellator banner include wins over Quentin “Rampage” Jackson, Frank Mir, and Chael Sonnen. Emelianenko made his name overseas in Pride FC but has fought in other promotions such as Rizin, M-1, and Strikeforce. A champion all over the world, it’s not surprising that at 44, Emelianenko is still getting big-name fights.

Fans have been wondering if Emelianenko can make a run at the Bellator Heavyweight Championship, and a win over any of the three guys mentioned above should surely get him in the conversation. Bellator has a good Heavyweight division, but you can’t deny the name and drawing power “The Last Emperor” has built for himself throughout his career.

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