UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Bellator president Scott Coker has successfully brought Bellator back on stream after the COVID-19 shutdown, and now his attention is turning to getting his big stars booked in big fights.
One such fighter is Russian heavyweight icon Fedor Emelianenko, whose “retirement tour” was put on hold when the coronavirus pandemic caused the global shutdown of international travel and sporting events as the world battled to control the spread of the virus.
Now that things are starting to open up and travel restrictions are beginning to ease, Coker and Emelianenko (39-6 MMA, 3-2 BMMA) are in active discussions over how, and when, to book “The Last Emperor’s” final fights.
Coker had previously revealed to MMA Junkie that he would sit down with Emelianenko during fight week ahead of Bellator 244 and, circling back to the topic during the post-fight press conference, he told reporters, including MMA Junkie, that discussions are going well between the two parties.
“It went great,” he explained. “He understands that we’re going to probably fight toward the end of this year, beginning of next year. He would like to fight in front of a crowd, to be honest. So we’re going to see how things go with the COVID situation.
“The plan was always not to fight him here in the United States, to be honest. Although he did say he’d love Chicago, and then New York and then L.A. But he said he would like to fight in Europe and he would like to fight in his hometown, so we’re exploring all the options.
“As you guys know, it’s a difficult situation to travel right now, but I think in time we’ll be able to put it together, and we’ll do it right.”