Bellator heavyweight fighter Fedor Emelianenko to host MMA tournament in Russia in memory of Khabib Nurmagomedov's father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov

Bellator heavyweight fighter Fedor Emelianenko has confirmed that he’s planning on hosting an MMA tournament in Russia as a touching tribute to the late father of Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Abudalmanap Nurmagomedov was also ‘The Eagle’s coach as well as a mentor for UFC fighters such as Isam Makhachev and Umar Nurmagomedov. The late Nurmagomedov passed away in 2020 following complications with a pre-existing heart condition after developing Coronavirus.

In a video uploaded to Reddit, Fedor Emelianenko confirmed his desire to host the tournament in December and begin the gradual process of returning Russian athletes to amateur tournaments globally.

In an interview with Sportsbox RU, ‘The Last Emperor’, who is also the President of the Union of Mixed Martial Arts of Russia, was asked about the tournament and plans for the future.

[Translated to English] The 46-year-old said:

“We’ll talk about it. We will look for support. So far there is no such news. We are planning tournaments in Russia. Annual master tournament in Stavropol, in Novosibirsk, master tournament in memory of Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov in Saratov.”

In terms of his own MMA career, Fedor Emelianenko is set to compete in his final MMA bout next year. The veteran fighter will face Bellator heavyweight champion, Ryan Bader, for the second time on February 4, hanging up his gloves regardless of the result.

Scott Coker on Fedor Emelianenko vs. Ryan Bader II

Bellator MMA President Scott Coker has praised Fedor Emelianenko for taking on the challenge of rematching with Ryan Bader before he retires from MMA.

Emelianenko and Bader first fought at Bellator 214 back in 2019. The bout was the finale of the heavyweight Grand Prix, and ‘Darth’ went on to win via a first-round TKO.

At Bellator 288’s post-fight press conference, Coker addressed questions from the press about the upcoming heavyweight matchup. According to the Bellator president, the 46-year-old had the opportunity to choose an “easier” fight, but decided he wanted to challenge himself against Bader once again:

“That’s gonna be a great rematch. The past doesn’t equal the future. Anything can happen. Fedor is still a great striker, a great fighter and has some good speed. This’ll be his final fight, he’s putting his gloves down and it’s going to be a historical moment…He doesn’t need to fight anymore but he wants to fight Bader…He wants to fight really bad. He wanted to have a revenge fight. He could have said he wants an easier fight but he wants the top guy.”

Watch the full post-fight interview here:

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