For Fedor Emelianenko, Saturday night and his title fight at Bellator 290 is just another opportunity.
Fedor, who has announced plans to retire after the bout, challenges Ryan Bader for the heavyweight title live on CBS.
“The only extra motivation for this fight is that I will be very happy to finish it,” he said. “I can remember all my fights, no matter how fast they were. Some of them ended quickly, some didn’t. The most important and the first one that I remember still is the first fight with Antonio Nogueira for the belt in PRIDE.
“I’m really thankful that all these legends and all these guys that I’ve known for years are going to come and support me on Saturday night. I’m really happy about that. I’m going to be very happy to see and talk to my friends who I’ve competed with inside the cage.”
For the legendary fighter, he has just one wish for how fans remember him among the MMA world.
“I want to be remembered by MMA fans as an athlete who gained his popularity and his fanbase based on his skills,” he said. “Based on his fighting skills, not based on his trash talking or any of that nasty stuff that’s popular right now. That’s how I want to be remembered.”