Fedor Emelianenko is not done with mixed martial arts.
Bellator president Scott Coker announced Friday night that Bellator has signed Emelianenko, widely considered one of the best fighters in MMA history, to a multifight extension.
Speaking at the Bellator 222 postfight news conference, Coker said the deal would allow Emelianenko to fclose out his career with the promotion.
"This is gonna be his retirement tour," Coker said. "I think we'd like to take him to a lot of countries and cities that haven't seen him in a long time, or maybe have never seen him. It's gonna be fun when we roll this thing out."
Emelianenko, 42, last fought in January, suffering a 35-second knockout loss to Ryan Bader in the finals of the Bellator Heavyweight World Grand Prix. At that point, there were calls for Emelianenko to hang up the gloves. Before the Bader loss, Emelianenko had won two in a row in the tournament, stopping Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen. Overall, Emelianenko (38-6, 1 NC) has won seven of his past nine fights.
Known as "The Last Emperor," Emelianenko is the former Pride heavyweight champion and arguably the greatest heavyweight ever in MMA. He went undefeated from 2000 to 2009, one of the most revered runs in the sport's annals.
Coker mentioned potential future opponents for Emelianenko on Friday, including fellow Pride alums Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Josh Barnett. The promoter said Bellator would take Emelianenko to international locales as well.