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Scott Coker: Fedor Emelianenko wants rematch with Ryan Bader for retirement fight

The Bellator president is prepared to send ‘The Last Emperor’ off with a fight he really wants. 

The end of his professional career is near, and Fedor Emelianenko wants to avenge a loss and retire a champion in his final fight.

Emelianenko has given some thought to his final appearance in the Bellator cage and told Scott Coker that his focus is on the upcoming fight between Ryan Bader and Valentin Moldavsky, especially if ‘Darth’ emerges victorious. Bader kept Emelianenko away from the then-vacant Bellator Heavyweight World Championship with a brutal 35-second technical knockout at Bellator 214 over two years ago. Now that ‘The Last Emperor’ has earned two impressive wins over Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and Timothy Johnson in recent outings, he believes now is the time for a rematch.

The Bellator president certainly has no issue booking Bader vs. Emelianenko II but told Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie that depends on what happens at Bellator 273 in January.

“That’s what Fedor asked me,” said Coker. “He’s like if Ryan beats Moldavsky, I want to fight Ryan Bader.’ That’s what he said. I said, ‘Well, let’s just talk about it and I’ll give you some other possibilities in the beginning of January, then let’s see how the fight unwinds and then we’ll make a business decision, Fedor. How about that?’ And he said, ‘OK.’ And that was it.”

Coker remained mum on who those possibilities are, but confirmed that him and the promotion are indeed in the process of planning a grand send-off for Emelianenko in front of his hometown again. This past October, the legendary fighter returned to Russia and added another highlight-reel finish to his resume with a first-round knockout of Johnson at Bellator 269.

The atmosphere of the event left quite the impression on Coker, and that is why he is determined to bring Emelianenko home for one more walk to the cage.

“We have one more fight with him and we’re gonna do something really big in Russia,” said Coker. “We’re already planning now. I might be taking a trip over there in the next three weeks to keep the ball rolling and [Head of Bellator Europe] David Green is jumping on board and is helping us over there. We have a team of people working on this next event and he deserves a king’s send-off with the career that he’s had, and we’re going to give it to him.”