Bellator 237: Fedor Emelianenko Clarifies Comments on Retirement
Plenty of eyebrows were likely raised last night when Fedor Emelianenko's translator said the legend had announced he was retiring. But while speaking to the media afterward, "The Last Emperor" clarified what he meant.
If you watched Bellator 237 last night you may have been surprised when Fedor Emelianenko’s translator announced the legend was hanging-up-the-gloves. But, as you may have suspected at the time, it turns out that’s not exactly what Emelianenko said.
Emelianenko’s not retiring just yet
Emelianenko faced “Rampage” Jackson in the event’s headliner, and the former PRIDE champ’s speed advantage was immediately apparent. Fedor cracked Jackson with multiple shots, and approximately midway into round one, he put “Rampage” down with a booming right.
During his in-cage, post-fight interview, Fedor’s translator said the legend had announced he was retired. But, while speaking with the media backstage, Emelianenko and his translator clarified he only meant the following (quote via MMA Junkie):
“I’m doing my tour and this is my final fights, and I want to do a fight in Japan, I want to do a fight in U.S., and I went to do Russia,” Emelianenko said. “So Japan, it was my retirement fight in Japan. So I’m not retiring.”
If you’ve been following Fedor in recent weeks, the comments above make much more sense. Emelianenko signed a three-fight contract extension with Bellator earlier this year, and just recently, the Russian star said it’s possible he could fight beyond this deal. If Emelianenko had been knocked out last night, however, then maybe he would have decided to hang-em-up.
Fedor comments on the stoppage
When Fedor floored “Rampage”, it was clear the latter wasn’t out-out, but Emelianenko elected to not follow up with another shot from above. When asked about the stoppage afterward, the 43-year-old said this:
“It was a good stoppage because I felt like I would just get on top of him and start to deliver very heavy punches,” Emelianenko said. “Right after my punch he just collapsed and went face down. There was no necessity to do more.”
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Yup. It’s hard to imagine that “Rampage” could have come back from that right hand, or more specifically, the additional shots he would have very likely taken if Fedor hadn’t walked away.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) December 29, 2019
Now it will be interesting to see when and who Fedor fights next. Chances are his opponent will be another, big-name fighter who is nearing the end of their career. Like, for example, Josh Barnett? While talking to the media, Bellator President Scott Coker mentioned Fedor – Barnett as a possibility.
With the victory on Saturday, Fedor’s overall record now stands at 39-6. Jackson’s, meanwhile, is now 38-14.