The Last Emperor is One of the Iconic Fighters in the History of MMA… He has Aimed Some Harsh Words Towards a Former Opponent of a Fellow Russian Superstar… Conor McGregor…

Alongside Ben Askren, Fedor Emelianenko has long been regarded as one of the greatest active MMA fighters never to have fought in the UFC. Now that ‘Funky’ has finally been signed by the world’s biggest MMA promotion, Emelianenko is the biggest ‘what if’ in combat sports.

Many fans think he is the best heavyweight to have ever fought in MMA. The former PRIDE heavyweight champion is set to take on Ryan Bader for the vacant Bellator heavyweight championship after the pair made it to the final of the promotion’s grand prix. Emelianenko is the underdog, but it wouldn’t be a massive surprise to see him win.

Fedor was interviewed earlier in the week. He had some fascinating points to make, including a signal that he will be retiring in the very near future. He also took aim at Conor McGregor, whose antics he has no time for.

Fedor Emelianenko, Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel, USA TODAY Sports.

No Time

It’s unsurprising that Fedor doesn’t really have a lot of time for Conor McGregor’s verbal antics. The Russian legend has never been one to trash his opponents, preferring to let his hands do the talking instead. Also, because of his sambo background, he knows Khabib and his father Abdulmanap quite well. He had this to say to

“Personally, I don’t like what McGregor is doing. He needs to watch his mouth. Khabib should have just taken the microphone and said who McGregor is and where he belongs.”

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Fedor might not respect the man, but he does appreciate the fighter. He’s a pragmatic guy and recognizes that McGregor is an intelligent athlete and highly skilled fighter. This is a fact that often gets overlooked by fans. If he talked without backing it up, he’d just be like Colby Covington. Nobody would care. Emelianenko said:

“As a person, I practically don’t know him. I’ve met him, we talked a little. I formed the impression of a cultured, positive fighter. As a sportsman he’s a UFC champion – that’s a high level,”

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End of an Era

Significantly, if you’re a fan of Fedor, you should not miss him fighting Bader this weekend. They will fight for Bellator’s heavyweight championship. He has signalled that he is close to the end of his career. Don’t be surprised to see him hang his gloves up in the cage if he loses badly against his American opponent.

“To tell the truth, at my age right now, more and more I’m thinking about retiring,” Emelianenko said earlier in the week. And it’s not because I don’t want to fight. It’s definitely because of the age and all the injuries. There’s been no adjustments, no changes in the training process. But it takes more time to recover,” 

A win could see him fight a little bit longer. He’s still contracted to RIZIN as well as Bellator. Something very interesting could happen there if he can do enough to claim the belt.

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