Heavyweight Great Fedor Emelianenko Hospitalized After Contracting COVID-19

Fedor Emelianenko
Fedor Emelianenko Credit: Bellator MMA

Bellator heavyweight and PRIDE legend Fedor Emelianenko has landed in hospital after contracting COVID-19.

Considered by many one of the greatest of all time, Emelianenko confirmed on social media Thursday that he was “on the mend” after being hospitalized due to the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

He thanked the doctors and medical professionals who cared for him, as well as those concerned about his health, adding that “I am feeling well now.”

A report by RT Sport stated that Emelianenko, 44, was being treated at Clinical Hospital No. 52 in Moscow — a facility that specializes in coronavirus treatment.

Emelianenko (39-6, 1NC) has seen his pro career span two decades. After getting his start in 2000, under the RINGS banner in his native Russia, he shot to fame in PRIDE, defeating fellow legends like Antnnio Rodrigo Nogueira (Big Nog), Gary Goodridge, Mirko Cro-Cop, Mark Hunt, Mark Coleman, and later under the Afflication banner, Andrei Arlovski and Tim Sylvia.

After a disastrous stint in Strikeforce and a couple of fights elsewhere, Fedor retired in 2012, only to return in 2015 and put together a 5-2 run that saw him earn wins against Rampage Jackson, Chael Sonnen, and Frank Mir in Bellator.

Fedor’s last bout came on December 29, 2019 when he finished Rampage Jackson via first-round TKO. Bellator had floated plans for a retirement tour of sorts for the heavyweight, including a potential show in Russia, prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bellator chief Scott Coker was sticking to those plans throughout 2020.

“Fedor has two fights left, and both of them will most likely be out of the country. I say that with reserve, because you guys know the situation is hard to navigate around, and every time we try to go outside somewhere, it’s challenging,” Coker explained following Bellator 246 back in September, noting the difficulties the ongoing pandemic had presented.

“Fedor, the plan was to do three fights. We hit Japan on New Year’s Eve last year, or the day before New Year’s Eve. Then we want him to fight in Europe at some point, then we want him to fight in Moscow, to be his retirement fight,” continued Coker. “We have two fights left, and we’ll figure it out. It’s going to be sometime in 2021.”