MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko fights Ryan Bader this weekend at Bellator 214 in the finals of the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix. If he wins, it would be another huge accomplishment in Fedor’s legendary career and could very well be the last time we ever see him compete.
However, many MMA fans still feel somewhat gypped that we never got to see him fight in the UFC, especially years back when there were serious talks of a fight between him and Brock Lesnar being in the works.
Just yesterday at Bellator 214’s media day, Fedor touched on this subject when asked if he regrets never fighting in the UFC and he responded in typical Fedor fashion.
“Absolutely no regret. I don’t have any wish or desire to perform or fight in the UFC. I like being in Bellator and I like my relationship with Scott Coker,” Fedor said.
When pressed further on this, Fedor said that the fame of the UFC is largely ‘made up’ and that Bellator treats the fighters ‘really well’, an obvious dig at the UFC.
Fedor concluded this line of questioning by adding “I think the first very important thing that they (promoters) have to have is a normal attitude with the fighter and fulfill all the obligations and promises to the fighter.”
Although Fedor never competed in the UFC and at this point likely never will, he is still widely regarded as the greatest heavyweight of all time. Now in the twilight of his legendary career, he is fighting a much younger Ryan Bader who’s a very dangerous fight for the aging legend despite normally competing in a weight class below.
Bader presents a lot of problems for Fedor, unlike Fedor’s first tournament opponents – Mir and Sonnen, whom he ran through. But if Fedor can somehow pull it off, it would be a legitimate win against a world-class opponent, something that’s been missing in Fedor’s last several bouts.
It would not only earn Fedor another major world title but would also be the perfect swan song to cap off a legendary career.