GOAT recognize GOAT.
Heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko is set to return to competition for the first time in almost two years after it was announced Friday that he’d be fighting at a Bellator event on Oct. 23 in Moscow. Many of his peers were excited at the news, including three-time UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
“Bones” called Emelianenko soon after the announcement to congratulate him and you can watch video of the exchange above, courtesy of Bellator.
“I just want to say congratulations and welcome back,” Jones said, while providing a warm greeting to “The Last Emperor.” Emelianenko responded, “Thank you, my brother.”
Jones also expressed his excitement on social media when the news broke.
Fedor is fighting again?! Well that’s pretty exciting— BONY (@JonnyBones) June 25, 2021
Jones is currently making his own move to heavyweight in search of new challenges and to add to a resume that includes a near-flawless resume in 28 pro bouts, with 11 total UFC title defenses and wins over a litany of all-time greats. Though his accomplishments have been marred by outside-of-the-cage issues—including his involvement in a hit-and-run incident in April 2015 that led to the UFC stripping him of a title—and a pair of suspensions from the USADA for banned substances, Jones remains entrenched in discussions concerning who is the greatest MMA fighter of all time.
For a stretch in the 2000s, Emelianenko was the default answer to that question. He ruled over the heavyweight division with an iron fist, going undefeated in a 28-fight stretch that spanned almost a decade while scoring wins over the best fighters in Japan’s PRIDE organization and several former UFC champions. Emelianenko is still racking up wins approaching his 45th birthday, having won three of his past four fights against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Chael Sonnen, and Frank Mir, all by first-round TKO.
Emelianenko’s upcoming opponent is still to be determined.
If they fought in their primes, who would have won?
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