Former Pride FC champion and current Bellator fighter Fedor Emelianenko has been hospitalized in Russia after contracting COVID-19.
Fedor is being treated at Clinical Hospital No. 52 in the Russian capital, according to RT Sport. Though no details of his health were released by the hospital, Fedor posted an encouraging message to his official Instagram account.
“Thank you all who are sincerely worried about my health. I am feeling well now, I am on the mend,” he wrote. “I am grateful to the doctors and medical staff for their care and your hard work.”
Though he considered offers from the UFC, Fedor never inked a deal with the world’s foremost mixed martial arts promotion.
Nearing his retirement, Fedor instead opted to fight for Bellator MMA, whose president, Scott Coker, is a longtime friend of Fedor’s dating back to his Strikeforce tenure.
Fedor has been on something of a retirement tour after losing to Ryan Bader in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. He defeated Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the first round at Bellator 237 in December of 2019, but his tour stalled out in 2020 because of the global coronavirus pandemic that causes COVID-19.
Pending Fedor’s recovery from COVID-19, Coker has been hoping to have him continue his retirement tour, culminating in a marquee bout on his home turf in Russia.
Fedor got his start in the famed Rings tournaments in the early 2000s before becoming one of the most dominant figures in mixed martial arts history with his run in Pride FC in Japan.
He has fought for numerous other organizations since Pride was purchased by the UFC, but could never come to satisfactory terms with UFC officials in order to fight in the Octagon.