The final fight of Fedor Emelianenko’s storied MMA career will no longer take place in Moscow, Russia.
Bellator president Scott Coker revealed on Saturday that the promotion has had to pivot with Emelianenko’s retirement fight due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
“It’s definitely not going to happen in Moscow this year,” Coker told reporters following Bellator 276. “We’re not gonna do Fedor’s retirement fight there for obvious reasons. We’ll be looking for an alternative site at some point, but we’re going to sit down with Fedor when he comes to [Bellator 277] in San Jose and see what he’s thinking.”
“The Last Emperor” recently competed in Moscow and created one of 2021’s more memorable moments when he knocked out Timothy Johnson in less than two minutes in the main event of Bellator 269 in October. The 45-year-old will enter his final MMA bout victorious in four of five, all first-round finishes, picking up wins over Frank Mir, Chael Sonnen, and Quinton Jackson.
Coker also revealed that the promotion had received confirmation to hold an event in one of the most historically significant areas of Moscow. With those plans no longer in play, Coker — and the promotion — will aim to still provide the longtime Pride FC veteran with a swan song to remember.
“We had an amazing show planned in Moscow,” Coker said. “I don’t even mind telling you this but we originally had approval to do the fight in Red Square, and it was going to be such a great sendoff for the GOAT in my opinion.
“Now, we have to pivot and create something else that’s great, find another venue, and find another amazing site because he deserves to have a great sendoff — and we’ll do that — we just don’t know where yet.”