PHOENIX — Sure, Fedor Emelianenko is one of the best heavyweights in mixed martial arts history, but how would he fare in a game of one-on-one?
The 45-year-old Pride FC legend put his basketball skills on display on Thursday afternoon in the desert, shooting hoops at the Footprint Center — the home court of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns — prior to Bellator 273’s open workouts. Emelianenko, who is in town to help corner Bellator interim heavyweight champion Valentin Moldavsky for Saturday’s title unification bout against current Bellator beltholder Ryan Bader, was one of several fighters who couldn’t resist throwing up a few quick shots once they hit the hardwood.
Bader, Moldavsky, and former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson also joined in the fun with Emelianenko, as did a few others — although some fighters were certainly more familiar with the game than others.
Watch Bellator’s stars attempt to shoot hoops above ahead of Bellator 273, which takes place January 29 and is headlined by Bader vs. Moldavsky.