(Courtesy of DAZN USA)
Fedor Emelianenko kicked off his three-fight retirement tour in style, laying out fellow Pride FC veteran Quinton “Rampage” Jackson less than three minutes into their Bellator 237 headlining bout.
Fedor insists that he is headed to retirement, but had a plan in place to fight one more time in Japan, one more time in the United States, and a final time in his home country of Russia to cap it all off.
Saturday’s Bellator/Rizin co-promoted bout with Rampage was his final fight in front of his Japanese fans, of which he has many. Fedor built his career in front of the Japanese audience, where he was a Rings and then Pride champion.
When Fedor lorded over Pride, the heavyweight division was in its heyday in Japan. Fedor defeated the likes of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Semmy Schilt, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Coleman, Mark Hunt, and numerous others. Two fighters he never faced under the Pride banner were Rampage and Josh Barnett.
With the win in Japan, Fedor finally notched a victory over Rampage, who was also a huge star under the Pride umbrella. After that fight, Bellator president Scott Coker indicated that Barnett might be next for Fedor on his retirement tour, as he fights his way into the sunset of one of the most storied careers in mixed martial arts history.