The Last Emperor returns to Bellator soon, and Cageside Press caught up with him this week ahead of Bellator 192.
‘The Last Emperor’ Fedor Emelianenko will be taking part in the Bellator World Heavyweight Grand Prix, which kicks off Saturday night in Los Angeles. He’s arguably the most legendary name in the eight-man field, and a big part of what makes the Grand Prix so intriguing. Fedor will face UFC legend Frank Mir in his first bout in the tournament, expected to take place in Chicago some time in April.
At Bellator 192 at The Forum in L.A. Saturday, Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson will meet in the first fight of the quarter-finals. The winner of that bout will face Fedor, so what happens on Saturday could have some bearing on Fedor moving forward. That’s if he gets past Mir, of course.
Via translator, the heavyweight great told Gabriel Gonzalez of Cageside Press that he’s “excited” to face the former UFC champion, calling him “a top fighter.” It’s match fans have dreamed of for years, making the wait to April all the more difficult.
Fedor also discussed his advice for the young stable of fighters coming up under him. Having trained with former Bellator champion Vitaly Minakov, current Bellator fighter Anatoly Tokov is among those seen as possible successors to the Last Emperor’s throne.
“You have to be determined, you have to work hard” he stated. “Regardless of what your achievements are, you have to always stay humble and stay human. Don’t lose sight of what you’re doing.”
A while back, Fedor broke from his stoic persona to speak out passionately about children’s MMA matches staged in Grozny. In the end, did adding his voice to the conversation help address the issue?
“This is a legislative problem, and it should be should with a law, in the legislature. It should set up a limit at which MMA fighting for kids is not allowed” was the answer. “Did him voicing is opinion help? Yes, it definitely put it to the forefront and made it a topic of discussion.”