Former Pride FC heavyweight champion and 2004 Grand Prix victor, Fedor ‘The Last Emperor’ Emelianenko is expected to make his first professional mixed martial arts walk since December of 2019 — with a return to active competition reportedly slated to take place in October of this year under the Bellator banner.
Emelianenko, 44, headlined Bellator 237 on December 29th. back in 2019 against fellow Pride FC alum and former UFC light heavyweight champion, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson — stopping the veteran with a one-sided first round knockout win in Saitama, Japan.
According to a report this afternoon from Ariel Helwani, Emelianenko is expected to announce his return to active competition during a media event tomorrow with promotion, Bellator, however, an opponent for a slated October comeback has yet to be determined.
“Fedor Emelianenko is expected to announce tomorrow that he is returning to action late this year, sources say,” Helwani reported. “Opponent TBD. Slated for October. The 44-year-old legend hasn’t fought since his December 2019 win over Rampage Jackson. Presser set for 11 am E.T. It’ll be under the Bellator banner.“
In January of 2019, Emelianenko suffered a first round knockout loss in just 35-seconds against former two-weight Bellator champion, Ryan Bader in the promotion’s heavyweight Grand Prix finale — in which Bader lifted the vacant championship. The loss snapped a two-fight rise for Emelianenko under the Scott Coker-led banner.
A 46-fight veteran, the Rubizhne-born Sambo standout holds an astonishing 39-6 professional record, and is widely viewed as one of the greatest mixed martial artists in the sport’s history.
With 15 knockouts to go with 15 separate submission wins, Emelianenko has competed professionally since May of 2000, and has laced up gloves under the banners of Rings, Pride FC, Affliction, Strikeforce, M-1 Global, Rizin FF, Fight Nights Global, and Bellator — where he currently resides.
The hugely-decorated veteran has landed a slew of notable names on his winning résumé including the likes of Ricardo Arona, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (x2), Gary Goodridge, Mark Coleman (x2), the late Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt, Matt Lindland, Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, Pedro Rizzo, Frank Mir, and Chael Sonnen to name a few.