A former champion in Japan’s PRIDE Fighting Championships, a former Strikeforce title contender and one of the few names the UFC tried, and failed, a few times to sign, Fedor joined Bellator through his association and friendship with its fight league president Scott Coker.
On the sun-kissed rooftop of Viacom’s Hollywood headquarters – the media conglomerate owns the Bellator fight league – yesterday’s workout session for Saturday night’s fights with established stars and rising prospects, was flooded with media representatives from Russia, hanging in Fedor’s every word. And the truth is that Fedora rarely offers many words. But the ‘R’ word was there in abundance. In that gentle sun and wind, we listened to the great fighter talk of the winter of his career.
“To tell the truth, at my age right now, more and more I’m thinking about retiring,” Emelianenko said, to the question of whether he would defend the Bellator heavyweight crown if he wins.
“And it is not because I don’t want to fight. It’s definitely because of the age and all the injuries that speak. There’s been no adjustments, no changes in the training process. But it takes more time to recover.”
Emelianenko, record 38-5, said he would not have had it any different, never wished he had been in this era of mega money nights, crossover fights. The digital age of smack talk and ‘viral’ excitement whipping up a fever online.