Fedor Emelianenko made the final appearance of his MMA career in a heavyweight title challenge against Ryan Bader last night at Bellator, but unfortunately for ‘The Last Emperor’ he wasn’t able to bow out of the sport on a victory.
The 46-year-old Fedor had been hoping to avenge a 2019 TKO loss to Bader that had only lasted 35 seconds, but his fate was to be the same this time around, albeit mercifully not ending quite as swiftly this time around.
On this occasion Bader dropped Fedor with a right hand and then delivered a barrage of ground-and-pound that led to a TKO finish at the 2.30min mark of the fight.
After his loss Fedor was joined in the cage by a who’s who of other MMA stars who had all come to pay their respects to one of the most legendary and beloved fighters in the sport’s history, including the likes of Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Royce Gracie, Mark Coleman, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Dan Henderson, Matt Hughes, Josh Barnett, Frank Shamrock, Chael Sonnen and Renzo Gracie.
“On one side I’m sad I didn’t deliver in the fight as I wanted to, but on the other hand I’m glad the crowd here are cheering for me, and all these legendary fighters who I’ve walked the path with are here to support me,” Fedor said.
Fedor bows out of the sport with a proud record of 40 wins with just 7 losses and 1 no-contest over the course of a 23-year career.
At the peak of his powers Fedor went 28-fights without defeat, including his entire run in the PRIDE organization, where he would reign as their heavyweight champion with three successful title defenses as well as winning the 2004 heavyweight grand-prix.
Along the way he beat many of the great and good of the heavyweight ranks, including the likes of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (x2), Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Semmy Schilt, Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski, Tim Sylvia, Frank Mir, Chael Sonnen, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and the list goes on.