The last emperor signed a new contract with Bellator.

Many people tried on Bellator 222: Rory MacDonald reached the Grand Prix final, Lyoto Machida knocked out Chael Sonnen and sent him to retire, Conor McGregore’s friend Dillon Danis won in the first round. But the whole tournament was eclipsed by one news: Fedor Emelyanenko, who was present at the event, signed a new contract with the organization for several fights.

Potential rivals are already known, let's try to figure out why this is all.

Losing to Ryan Bader

Fedor Emelianenko in three fights from 2011 to 2012 - against Jeff Monson, Satoshi Ishii and Pedro Rizzo - closed defeats against Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson. On June 21, 2012, he knocked out Rizzo in the first round and ended his career. It seemed that time.

But the Last Emperor did not last long: on July 14 he announced his return. Since then, he beat Jaidip Singh in RIZIN, Fabio Maldonado passed with a squeak and blood in Fight Nights Global and ended up in Bellator, where he lost in the opening to Matt Mitrione.

After that, there was the Grand Prix of heavyweights, where Frank Mir and Chail Sonnen fell from the hands of Emelianenko in the first rounds (he, by the way, ended his career after losing to Bellator 222) and a fresh ending in his memory.

Ryan Bader knocked out Emelianenko in 35 seconds on January 26, 2019.

Since then, Fedor has ambiguously spoken about continuing his career and has not given a clear answer. Others sent the 42-year-old fighter to retire, although they held off in mind: the Bellator conditional tournament in Russia with not the top rival.

Emelianenko decided otherwise and on June 15 he signed a new contract with the organization. The agreement is designed for 3 fights, the first will be held in Japan at the end of the year, and the second - most likely in New York in 2020.

Why is it necessary and does Fedor

The main question about the continuation of Emelianenko’s career - why? He is asked absolutely everything and everyone. Fans, journalists and other fighters - to other fans, journalists and fighters, including Fedor himself. Option two.

Sport. Emelianenko, despite his age, is interested in challenges, and his former power does not allow him to put an end. Fedor responded immediately to the chance to become a Bellator champion, fit into the Grand Prix, and if not for Bader, he would have every chance of becoming one.

Plus, Emelianenko is a guide to the big world for the Fedor Team. The contracts of the Last Emperor allow other fighters from Stary Oskol to appear in top organizations. Vadim Nemkov, Anatoly Tokov and Valentin Moldavsky - the guys that Fedor brought to the MMA and who are about to become Bellator champions. According to our information, Nemkov and Tokov will fight for titles already in the next battles, while Moldavsky will have a fight for the title of challenger. Earlier, Anatoly said in an interview that Fedor also performs managerial functions for the team - he agrees on fights and money as well.

Money. Fedor Emelianenko is still one of the most sought-after fighters on the market. On it smartly buy tickets. On January 19, 2017, he had to fight Mitrione for the first time, but a few hours before the tournament, Matt was hospitalized with kidney stones. This time was enough for the audience to pass the tickets and did not come to the stadium in San Jose, leaving him with gaping holes in the stands.

Accordingly, Fedor's fee is also top. For the fight with Bader, he received 300 thousand dollars - losing in 35 seconds. The victory would bring much more, and on the sidelines they generally talk about numbers in the region of two million dollars. For comparison: the guaranteed fees of Tony Ferguson and Donald Cerrone at UFC 238, which they were waiting for as one of the principal ones this year, were 160 thousand dollars for Tony and 175 thousand for Cerrone. That is, their combined figure exceeded Fedor's fee in Bellator by only 35 thousand. The first UFC rating number, brightly winning over 12 fights - Ferguson, received a total of 235,000, including 50,000 as a bonus for the best performance of the evening.

Bellator has money and they are ready to pay it to Fedor. In this case, its price tag can not be called overvalued, even if in fact it receives a million.

The second main question is whether Fedor is able to compete at a high level. Here we immediately make a footnote that the level of Bellator in heavy weight can not be called transcendent. As a rule, these are either very age or very average fighters.

In this context - yes, Emelianenko can still win victories. Trying to take revenge from the same Mitrione is quite real. Fedor still remains one of the most explosive heavyweights, rather fast to drop in batches and rather quick to defend against wrestlers. We did not have time to see this in a duel with Bader, but for every plus of Emelianenko there is a minus - lowered hands, a head that stopped taking a punch and for decades a well-established fighting style that has long been studied, read and dangerous for Fedor himself.

We know this, Fedor knows it, you cannot do anything about it. People and athletes at this age do not change, although Emelianenko must be given his due - he found the strength to leave the borders of Stary Oskol, in which he prepared all his life, and now to train before battles in Holland, where there is a chic school of percussion technology. True, there are big complaints about wrestling and parter, but that’s another story. Emelianenko reasonably relies on trumps, and does not tighten the cons.

Who can fight Fedor

The first candidate for the fight - Josh Barnett. The former UFC champion also signed a contract with Bellator, and the Barnett-Emelianenko match was to take place on August 1, 2009, at the Affliction and M-1 joint tournament in California. Then Barnett was denied a license and the fight broke down.

“I would really like to fight with Fedor before he completes his career. I want to meet him not only as a sportsman, but also as a friend. Then to say that once we fought with Fedor. Ready to speak with him anywhere, it does not matter. It is also possible in Russia, ”said Barnett in May.

President Bellator Scott Cocker after signing a new agreement with Emelianenko, in addition to Barnett, called the name Quinton Jackson. Also a real option - a participant of the Grand Prix, while the referee’s decision was the loser in the quarterfinal Sonnen. In September of 2018, Rempeyd, by technical knockout, defeated the mummy of Wanderlei Silva and has not fought since. He is now 40 years old and for Fedor he is a good target.

Bellator does not hide the fact that he is looking in the direction of organizing a tournament in Russia. Perhaps the Last Emperor’s farewell tour will end here, the first Bellator event in the country. With title fights guys from Fedor Team.