Fedor Emelianenko left his gloves inside the Bellator cage after Bellator 290 this past weekend.
That move, along with the words of the former champion himself, should solidify the end of his incredible fight career.
Emelianenko lost to Ryan Bader for the heavyweight title in the main event live on CBS. The card represented the first for the promotion on network television, and the last for the Russian great.
While he gave it everything he had, it was quite obvious that time and age have caught up to Fedor, especially against Bader.
I’m getting older, my age. Plus all my injuries from the past, they start to remind me of them,” he said. “My body doesn’t feel the same way as it used to. The only thing, I could have beat Ryan Bader, but it didn’t happen.
“Basically, I’m very happy and very excited it happened here. Right from the beginning we were discussing it was going to be three fights. Russia, Japan and the last one in the United States.”
Fedor and Bellator president Scott Coker have a long relationship together. The promotion brought the likes of Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Chael Sonnen, Royce Gracie, Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes to the event to honor Emelianenko and what he has accomplished.
I was really happy to see all the legends, all the fighters,” he said. “With some of them I shared the ring, with some of them I was watching and learning from them. It was great to have them come and support me.”
Another appeared during the post-fight press conference to congratulate Emelianenko in the form of Cris Cyborg.
“Thank you very much,” Fedor said to Cyborg. “I’m very excited and I wish you all the best. I watch your fights and I wish you the best and lots of happiness.”