With Bellator 172 a mere 3 days away, the MMA world is buzzing about Fedor Emelianenko’s Bellator debut, and his first fight on American soil since 2011. This will be “The Last Emperor’s” 3rd fight since ending a three and a half year retirement in December of 2015.
Emelianenko’s former manager and current M-1 Global president, Vadim Finkelstein, discussed all things Fedor in a recent interview. He touched on Fedor’s relationship with President Donald Trump, his thoughts on his upcoming fight with Bellator, why he made a comeback, and how close they were to signing with the UFC.
Sadly, however, Vadim did not touch on the other hot topic regarding Fedor – the sweater.
Some of the highlights:
On Fedor’s relationship with President Donald Trump:
- “He (Trump) said that MMA is the fastest growing sport and it has a great future.”
- “He was always cheering for Fedor, I know that for a fact. He was really happy when Fedor beat [Andrei] Arlovski, despite the fact that Arlovski was technically representing America at the time in this fight.”
On Fedor’s upcoming fight with Bellator:
- “I was really surprised because he sounded really serious back in 2012 when he said he was retiring.”
- “It’s going to be a hard fight, a serious opponent. A very good bout, in my opinion. Also, a very good move for Bellator.”
On why Fedor made a comeback:
- “I think he misses the fighting. He’s a natural born fighter and he wants to get back to the thing he loves so much.”
- “I think he just can’t live without it.”
On whether they were close to signing with the UFC:
- “We were always one step away from signing with the UFC, but it didn’t work out.”
Fedor Emelianenko (36-4, 1NC) is set to face Matt Mitrione (11-5) in the main event of Bellator 172 this weekend. It airs on Saturday, February 18th, live and free on Spike at 9pm EST.
Check out the full video below of Fedor’s former manager Vadim Finkelstein discussing all things Fedor: