Fedor Emelianenko is preparing to return to the cage after a tough battle outside of it, according to Bellator President Scott Coker, Fedor could fight again in the coming months.
Emelianenko (39-6 MMA, 3-2 BMMA), has not competed since December 2019, and in 2020 had the misfortune of contracting COVID-19. The virus took him to the hospital, but luckily for “The Emperor” it was only for a short period of time.
Scott Coker told MMA Junkie, that he plans to meet with Emelianenko during Bellator 256 fight week (next week) to discuss the details of his return. He has been told that the Russian legend is already back in the gym and is preparing to return soon.
“He is much better and is ready to start training and preparing. He will fight here in the next few months, I think. I’ll talk to him when he comes around next week. It comes with (Vadim) Nemkov. I will have a chance to sit down and talk to him. I’ll make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to timing everything. I’m thinking that, in late summer or early fall, you will see Fedor in the cage again. “
Now that there are a couple of high-profile free agents on the market, Coker sees possibilities for Emelianenko’s next opponent. If we were to give 2 names or possibilities that can be capitalized on by Fedor, one would be former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos, and the other would be former UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem. They’re both on the market as free agents, and it really sounds appealing to think of either of them taking on Fedor Emelianenko.
Coker confirmed that Bellator has been in talks with both of them. While the promotion is not interested in signing Dos Santos (21-9), 37, or Overeem (47-19), 40, for multi-year contracts, it would be interested in signing one-fight deals. This could be an option, if the other parties involved are interested.
“We’re not going to sign these guys to two-year, six-fight contracts, or to build them. They have done everything. They have already proven their worth. They are already legends of the sport. But what I will say is that we have sports legends here. If we go down the road, and we think a Fedor opponent will work, Alistair and Fedor will be very interesting to me. Junior Dos Santos and Fedor will be very interesting for me. “
Let’s remember that Emelianenko and Overeem have enough history to be able to face each other. They both participated in the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix in 2011 and could have fought each other. But Emelianenko was eliminated by Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem withdrew from the tournament due to contractual problems.
“We put them on opposite sides of the tournament and Fedor lost. It just didn’t make it to the end. Having that fight now could be interesting. We are still a long way from that happening. But if they’re open to super fights, what I said to both of them is, ‘Look, if you can get a deal somewhere else that’s exclusive, then great. If you can’t and want super fights, the door is always open and we’ll have conversations. “
Dos Santos is coming off four consecutive knockout losses. Overeem was 2-1 before his release from the UFC. Emelianenko has won three of four, a stage that includes victories over Quinton Jackson, Chael Sonnen and Frank Mir.
Apparently Coker’s plan would be to face Fedor with a rival with enough history and name. But let him not come at the peak of his career either since “The Emperor” has not seen action since 2019.
Overeem and Junior Dos Santos really seem like good options for Fedor’s return. Would you like to see Fedor Emelianenko face Alistair Overeem or Junior Dos Santos?