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Tito Ortiz and Josh Barnett step up as possible opponents for Fedor’s retirement fight

Josh Barnett and Tito Ortiz have offered themselves to be Fedor Emelianenko’s final opponent.

Fedor Emelianenko KO’d Tim Johnson at Bellator 269. Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images

In mid-2019, Scott Coker began planning a “farewell tour” for MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko. The Bellator exec wanted a “multi-city, multi-continent” tour for “The Last Emperor,” with the grand finale happening in Moscow in front of 30,000 people.

I really want Fedor to finish his career in front of 30,000 people in Moscow, to be honest, Bellator MMA’s first fight in Russia. Do a fight in Moscow. For him, the prodigal son has returned. Fedor is the greatest fighter of all-time, and he’s now coming home to retire and put his gloves up and hang it up to retire.

The COVID-19 pandemic ended up derailing these plans, as the 44-year-old Fedor remained on the sidelines for the entire 2020. But even so, two of the sport’s most accomplished veterans have volunteered themselves as possible opponents.

The 43-year-old Barnett hasn’t fought since 2016 when he scored a third-round submission win over Andre Arlovski. The 45-year-old Ortiz, on the other hand, last saw action in December 2019 when he submitted WWE talent Alberto del Rio in the first round. These days, he’s busy fulfilling his duties — and already being involved in some controversies — as a city council member and Mayor pro tempore in his hometown of Huntington Beach, California.

Fedor last fought in December 2019 and scored a first-round TKO win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.