KEY POINTS

  • Fedor Emelianenko is recovering well after contracting COVID-19
  • Plans for a farewell is unlikely to push through
  • Bellator top brass wanted to give Emelianenko a fitting MMA exit

At age 44, Fedor Emelianenko is at the crossroads of a great mixed martial arts career.

He could have fought a couple of fights more under usual circumstances. But with the coronavirus altering the course of the world, changes are expected to happen.

In the case of the Russian mixed martial artist, he finds himself in a fight considered the battle of all battles. Emelianenko was not spared by the pandemic and is reportedly in the hospital.

Emelianenko seems to be handling it well and even thanked people who were concerned about his well-being.

He posted a response that was translated by RT Sport on his Instagram account, updating everyone that he is doing well and is recovering. Emelianenko is in a Moscow hospital that specializes in COVID-19 treatment.

“I feel fine,” he posted. “I am going into recovery. I’m grateful to the doctors and medical staff for their care and hard work.”

It has been more than a year since Emelianenko last fought. This was in December 2019 at Bellator 237 where he knocked out Quintin "Rampage" Jackson in the first round.

It was a fitting win for the Russian following a knockout loss to Ryan Bader at Bellator 214 on Jan. 26, 2019. That was for the vacant Bellator heavyweight title.

Emelianenko made it that far in grand fashion, knocking out Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen to reach the finals of the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix.

He has two fights left in his contract and plans for a farewell tour were in place. Bellator president Scott Coker had this in mind.

Fedor Emelianenko celebrates the victory during the Bellator Japan - Fedor v Rampage at Saitama Super Arena Fedor Emelianenko celebrates the victory during the Bellator Japan - Fedor v Rampage at Saitama Super Arena Photo: Getty Images | Masashi Hara

“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," Coker said. "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."

But with Emelianenko being struck by COVID-19 and getting hospitalized, those plans have been altered severely. Coker wanted to give the Russian a fitting farewell, but the horizon is not looking too bright.