One of the more beloved stars in the sport has been hospitalized due to the coronavirus, and he claims he is currently in recovery.
On Thursday morning, RT Sport first reported that Fedor Emelianenko has come down with COVID-19, and as a result, he has been sent to the hospital. Taken to Clinical Hospital No. 52 in Moscow, his specific condition has not been specified but the Russian took to Instagram to reassure the public that he is in good spirits.
“Thanks to all who are genuinely concerned for my health,” Emelianenko posted per a translation from RT Sport. “I feel fine, I am going into recovery. I’m grateful to the doctors and medical staff for their care and hard work.”
Widely regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights to ever compete in mixed martial arts, the 44-year-old has won five of seven since emerging from retirement in 2015. The Russian said farewell to the sport for the first time back in 2012, leaving the Strikeforce promotion to rattle off a trio of wins over Jeff Monson, Satoshi Ishii and Pedro Rizzo. His last performance came in December 2019, when he knocked out fellow Pride Fighting Championships legend Quinton Jackson.
With only a few fights left before the heavyweight truly hangs up his gloves once and for all, Bellator MMA head Scott Coker wishes to place Emelianenko in a goodbye event in front of a massive crowd in Russia. Emelianenko signed a contract with the organization in mid-2019 to keep him among the roster until the end, and the COVID-19 pandemic delayed those plans to a degree. His final bout is expected to take place in Moscow, whenever it manifests after his recovery.