Fedor Emelianenko won’t be returning to MMA, but he’s not finishing combat sports yet.
In February, Emelianenko challenged Ryan Bader for the Bellator heavyweight title in what was billed as “The Last Emperor”’s final bout, losing by first-round knockout. after the fight Emelianenko’s illustrious career was celebrated in honor of his retirement. While that is still technically true. But it’s not entirely correct. Because on Wednesday, Emelianenko told Ariel Helwani, MMA hours Although his MMA career is over, the 46-year-old legend is trying his hand at boxing.
“MMA is 100 percent done,” Emelianenko said. “I’m not going back to MMA. I want to try boxing myself. I find it interesting
“After the final fight with Bader, I took a break. I started lifting a little weight. get your muscles back My injuries are gone. My shoulders feel a little better. and start boxing So I feel good and quite confident in boxing.”
Emelianenko is one of the greatest fighters of all time. and was widely regarded as the world’s best heavyweight fighter for nearly a decade in the 2010s. Now, Emelianenko says he and his team are in the early stages of plotting who they are. will be his first opponent. But that has a specific name in mind.
“We watched a Roy Jones Jr. vs Mike Tyson fight on TV. Mike Tyson was going to be an interesting fight,” Emelianenko said. He’s on YouTube and everywhere. He’s still in good shape. He still uses pads. He still has the same strength.”
Tyson is a former heavyweight champion and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2011. Tyson, 57, is far from the peak of the sport. But used to participate in a fight exhibition with fellow boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. in 2020. Most recently, Tyson helped line-up boxing champion Francis Ngnu prepare to fight Tyson Fury, the heavyweight boxing champion. Line’s heavyweight fight in Saudi Arabia on Oct. 28, and Emelianenko said that if these two are in the bottom line for that bout. He would jump at the chance.
“It’s great,” Emelianenko said when asked about the idea. “If it’s possible I will definitely do it. I will be ready.”
“I’m always training,” added Emelianenko. “Right now there’s a camp in Russia. I’m there. I’m always ready, I heard Mike Tyson is going to help Francis. Nu event to prepare for this fight So he should be in good shape as well.”
If the fight did happen, Emelianenko would be very much the underdog. considering his age Number of times he lost by knockout And the fact that this will be his first professional bout against a former champ, “The Last Emperor” isn’t worried.
“I’m 47 now, but I started boxing when I was 23,” says Emelianenko. “I’ve been boxing for more than half of my life. Everyone knows that I’m a wrestler, mostly sambo, judo. I was in the Nimbo and Judo national teams. But you can see in my fights that I’m good at boxing too. Obviously I’m not as good as Mike Tyson, but it would be interesting.”
And if Tyson’s fight can’t happen for some reason, there’s always been Jake Paul in recent years. Paul was on a mission to defeat a former world-class MMA fighter in the squared circle. when he defeated Nate Diaz last weekend
For his part, Emelianenko credits Paul for his success. but even so He wasn’t sure Paul would fight.
“He has grown a lot as a fighter,” Emelianenko said of Paul. “If you look at him at the beginning of his boxing career, He wasn’t doing very well. But now he’s definitely grown up. and he keeps getting better He had some knockdowns, knockouts, not against boxers, but against MMA stars.
“The only thing is How he chooses an opponent They’re a little smaller. more comfortable for him Based on his boxing style, I guess they’re a bit smaller than him… I didn’t miss that. [fighting Jake Paul] But I doubt he wants to do it.”
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