Bellator President Scott Coker weighed in on the status of Fedor Emelianenko following the promotion’s debut in Tacoma, Washington on Friday night.
While it was the welterweight and lightweight divisions that saw contenders emerge on Friday, namely Jason Jackson and Tofiq Musayev, also touched on was the status of heavyweight legend Fedor. The Russian fighter has one fight left on his contract, and is expected to retire upon its completion.
Fedor has expressed an interest in a rematch with Ryan Bader, and that’s something Coker is open to.
“I tell you, that’s the fight that Fedor really wants. We had that conversation, and this is the last fight on his contract, he told me he wants to retire,” Coker told media outlets including Cageside Press during the Bellator 283 post-fight press conference. “I haven’t talked to Bader about it, but it’s hard to say no to Fedor, let’s put it that way. We definitely would consider it, but it’s definitely not inked or something that is imminent. But we’ll definitely have the conversation.”
Bellator 283 put a spotlight on the wealth of riches the promotion has at lightweight. Tofiq Musayev had a huge win in the co-main event, stealing the thunder and potentially the title shot of Sidney Outlaw. Usman Nurmagomedov, cousin of retired UFC champ Khabib and brother of current UFC fighter Umar Nurmagomedov, improved to 15-0 with a submission of Team Alpha Male’s Chris Gonzalez.
Along with champ Patricky Pitbull, Islam Mamedov, Benson Henderson, Brent Primus, and others, there’s an increasingly tough field at 155 pounds in Bellator. Which bodes well for a potential tournament there.
“You know, it’s definitely under consideration. I think the chips are falling into place, and that division is looking really solid. I think a tournament would be amazing,” Coker told Cageside Press on that front. “But let’s finish the bantamweight tournament, which is going to be really entertaining, that’s one of the announcements we have in a few weeks, about the semifinals. And then we can decide on next year’s tournament.”
Watch the full Bellator 283 post-fight press conference with Scott Coker above.