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Scott Coker: Fedor Emelianenko ‘has his bullseye on Ryan Bader’ for retirement fight, but Anderson Silva would be ‘unbelievable’

Fedor Emelianenko on The MMA Hour

Fedor Emelianenko still has his sites set on Bellator gold.

Widely considered one of the greatest fighters of all-time, the 46-year old Emelianenko is nearing the end of his storied career, with his next fight set to be his last. But while there are many potential opponents for Emelianenko’s swan song, according to Bellator MMA CEO Scott Coker, there’s only one that “The Last Emperor” is interested in.

“Fedor hit me up, ‘Am I going to fight Anderson Silva?’ I said, ‘No, no. Everybody just calm down.’” Coker said on The MMA Hour. “Listen, I would personally love to see that fight, but Fedor, he’s got his bullseye on Ryan Bader. He wants to fight Ryan Bader. So Ryan is resting and he wants to fight at the beginning of next year. So we’re going to have a conversation.”

Emelianenko and Bader fought in the finals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix in 2019, with Bader securing a knockout in just 35 seconds to claim the vacant title. Since then, Emelianenko has won back-to-back fights by first-round knockout, and clearly still hopes to end his career on a high. MMA fandom does not quite agree. There’s a groundswell of support for Emelianenko to face fellow all-time great Anderson Silva, and ideal MMA sendoff for the two legends. And while Silva is a free agent and thus Coker could make the fight happen, he sees a few obstacles in the way.

“I think Anderson enjoys boxing,” Coker said. “I haven’t talked to him but I think he enjoys boxing and he’s going to continue boxing. He’s going to fight Jake Paul on the Showtime pay-per-view coming up. But if there was an opportunity, of course I would love to do it. That would be amazing. The two GOATs, that would be amazing.”

Silva has been enjoying his time in the squared circle. After his retirement from the UFC in 2020, “The Spider” score boxing victories over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Tito Ortiz. Next, Silva will face Jake Paul in a marquee matchup later this month.

With Fedor still likely out until 2023, a bout with Silva isn’t out of the question, but Coker says that there still would be a lot to figure out to make that happen.

“The other problem is, I think the weight,” Coker said. “Even if you wanted to put that fight together, I think Anderson would probably want it to be under a certain weight, and Fedor’s like, ‘I’m a heavyweight. Why would I want to lose weight?’ Listen, we’re going down a path that’s hypothetical, but as a fan, I would love it. It would be unbelievable.”

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