Fedor Emelianenko says he could never completely leave MMA like Khabib Nurmagomedov

Khabib Nurmagomedov and Fedor Emelianenko
Khabib Nurmagomedov (left) and Fedor Emelianenko (right) [Image Courtesy: @fedoremelianenkoofficial on Instagram]

Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko has reckoned that he would never leave MMA like Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Fedor Emelianenko says his bout at Bellator 290 will be his last, but unlike former UFC champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, he knows he will never be able to leave the sport completely.

Emelianenko, a Russian mixed martial artist and former PRIDE Heavyweight Champion, has stated that he could never fully leave MMA. Despite retiring from active competition, both fighters have left a lasting legacy in the sport and continue to be closely associated with it.

Emelianenko's skills and tenacity in the ring, as well as Nurmagomedov's dominance and unbeaten record, have solidified their place in the annals of MMA history.

Both fighters have also remained involved in the sport through coaching, training and mentoring future generations of fighters. After retiring from the competition in 2020, Khabib Nurmagomedov startled the world by announcing his intention to return to Dagestan to spend more time with his family.

Emelianenko, at the Bellator 290 presser, discussed his life after his retirement from the sport. Here's what he said:

"Of course, I’ll be involved still because I have my team,” Emelianenko explained at the Bellator 290 pre-fight press conference. “These guys are like family to me. I will try to do my best and help them in any way I can. All my life I was in sport. The sport is part of my life. The sport is in my blood. "

The Last Emperor: Fedor Emelianenko's retirement fight

Fedor Emelianenko, also known as "The Last Emperor," is considered by many to be the greatest heavyweight mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter of all time.

With a career spanning more than two decades, Emelianenko has amassed an impressive record of 27 consecutive wins, showcasing his dominance in promotions such as PRIDE, Rings, Strikeforce, and Bellator. Despite his success, the 46-year-old has never competed in the UFC due to disagreements with its President Dana White.

Fans and fellow fighters alike will forever remember Emelianenko's contribution to the sport, marked by his unforgettable finishes and his longevity as a dominant force in the heavyweight division.

His final fight against Ryan Bader at Bellator 290 is expected to be a historic event, as the MMA community bids farewell to a true legend of the sport.

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Edited by Tejas Rathi
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