Bellator eyeing Fedor Emelianenko vs. Rampage or Josh Barnett in Japan

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PhotoCred: Bloody Elbow / MMA Mania

Many thought the great Fedor Emelianenko was considering retirement following a 35-second knockout loss to Ryan Bader back at Bellator 214 in January. Not so fast, says Bellator president Scott Coker, who confirmed Emelianenko has signed a multi-fight agreement with the promotion. Coker even has some opponents in mind for his retirement tour.

According to Coker, who spoke to Ariel Helwani on Monday’s MMA Show, Bellator is planning on holding a cross-over event with RIZIN in December, and the Bellator bossman wants Emelianenko to fight on the card.

“There’s nothing confirmed,” Coker said (transcribed by MMAjunkie). “As people already know, we’ve been talking to Sakakibara about doing some type of event together. We haven’t decided if it’s going to be a ‘co-pro,’ fight sharing, a Bellator event by itself. But I’d love nothing more than to be in Japan sometime in December throwing a big fight there at Saitama Super Arena, where all the big fights happen.”

Coker even has a few specific names in mind for the MMA legend to fight in what could very well be his retirement fight.

“Whether it’s a Japanese fighter or he fights (Quinton) ‘Rampage’ Jackson or Josh Barnett, or whoever, I think it would just be a magical night to see him back in the Bellator cage in Tokyo,” Coker said.

All three of Emelianenko, Jackson and Barnett were massive stars in PRIDE in the 2000s. However, they never fought each other. Emelianenko was supposed to fight Barnett at Affliction: Banned a decade ago in summer 2009 but the fight was cancelled after Barnett failed a drug test. A decade later, and we may finally see these two heavyweight legends square off. Or maybe we see Emelianenko fight “Rampage.” Either way, expect Bellator to have an announcement soon.

Who do you think Fedor Emelianenko should fight in Bellator/RIZIN: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Josh Barnett, or someone else?