Fedor Emelianenko has signed a contract extension with Bellator MMA. The fight promotion announced the deal Saturday night.
“I am pleased that we were able to sign Fedor, the greatest heavyweight of all time, to a new contract extension,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “He is someone that I consider a friend in this business and am even more pleased that he has decided to finish his storied career with Bellator. There are exciting matchups for him here in Bellator that I know will appeal to his fans from the past, as well as new fans from his recent run in the tournament. As his time in the sport winds down, I am happy to see him close out his career on his own terms.”
Fedor is now 42 years of age and coming off of a loss to Ryan Bader in his last fight, but the "Last Emperor" isn't ready to relinquish his thrown just yet. Though he's competed at the top level of the heavyweight division for nearly two decades, there are still fights to be had.
Having made it to the final of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix, Fedor proved that he still has a desire to compete. Though he lost to Bader in the final, Fedor defeated former UFC champion Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen along the way.
He's not likely to continue taking shots at the belt, but there are entertaining fights for Fedor that fans might want to see before he leaves his gloves on the mat.
"[Josh Barnett is] definitely one of the names we’ve approached with Fedor. He’s fine with it. That would be a timing issue. I’m not sure if that’s going to be the very first fight, but I think we have a great roster that he can fight," Coker said.
"I think [Quinton] 'Rampage' Jackson versus Fedor, I think of Josh Barnett, there’s a couple other fighters out there that just come to my mind. It’s a multi-fight deal, multi-year [deal] and this is going to be his retirement tour. I think we’d like to take him to a lot of countries and cities that maybe haven’t seen him in a long time or have never seen him. It’s going to be fun when we roll this thing out."
For Fedor, deciding to end his career under the Bellator banner was an easy decision. He has had a good relationship with Scott Coker for years and trusts him.
"My strong friendship and respect for Scott Coker made reaching a contract extension a simple process,” said Fedor. “Bellator is my home. I look forward to helping Bellator continue to grow and reach its full potential as the world's top MMA promotion."