When mixed martial arts legend Fedor Emelianenko lost to Ryan Bader at Bellator 290 on Feb. 4, 2023, he said that would be his last fight. He has since refined that to clarify it was his final MMA fight. Now he wants to step into the squared circle to box fellow legend Mike Tyson.
Fedor insists that he will not fight MMA ever again
MMA is still in the rearview mirror. Fedor insists that he’s not going to do a replay of the Ozzy Osbourne retirement tour volumes one, two, three, four, etc., stretching it out for years. He will not go back to the sport that he once dominated in Japan, and propelled him into being considered one of the greatest fighters of all time.
“MMA is done, 100 percent. I’m not going back to MMA,” Fedor said on The MMA Hour. “I want to try myself in boxing. I think that’s going to be interesting.”
What drew Fedor to the idea of boxing Mike Tyson?
But why boxing? Why now, at nearly 47 years of age?
“We watched the fight on TV of Roy Jones Jr. vs. Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson would be an interesting fight,” Fedor explained. Emelianenko said. “He’s a legend. It would be interesting because you can see a lot of his videos on YouTube and all over the place, he’s still in good shape. He still works pads. He still has that same power.”
It wouldn’t necessarily be out of the question, as Tyson, roughly 10 years Fedor’s senior, has been active over the past few years. As Fedor mentioned, Tyson fought Jones to a split draw in an eight-round exhibition bout.
He’s also been the subject of a possible trilogy fight with Evander Holyfield. Tyson infamously took a bite out of Holyfield’s ear in their 1997 rematch.
“(Boxing Tyson) would be awesome,” Fedor said. “If it would be possible, I definitely would do it. I will be ready.”
Fedor said that, following the Bader loss in February, he has been working out and rehabbing some injuries. He is now in a much healthier place than he’s been in a long time, and continues training with other fighters in Russia.
That coupled with his status versus that of a boxing icon like Tyson holds a lot of intrigue for the former heavyweight champion. He even has some ideas on the appropriate fight card for such a bout.
Fedor wants to fight Mike Tyson on the Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou undercard
Fedor said he would grasp the opportunity to face Tyson as part of the undercard for the upcoming Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou mega-fight. Fury vs. Ngannou is slated to be an exhibition bout taking place on Oct. 28 in Saudi Arabia.
“I heard that Mike Tyson is going to help Francis Ngannou to prepare for (his Fury fight), so he’s probably in good shape too,” said Fedor, also noting his own credentials as a boxer.
“I started boxing when I was 23. Over half of my life, I’ve done boxing. Everybody knows that I’m mostly a wrestler, sambo, judo. I was on the national sambo and judo teams, but you can see in my fights that I’m pretty good at boxing as well. Of course, I’m not as good as Mike Tyson, but it would be interesting.”
Could a Mike Tyson vs. Fedor Emelianenko boxing match really happen?
There hasn’t been any real movement on making Mike Tyson vs. Fedor Emelianenko happen, but not many people believed that Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Conor McGregor or Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou would come to fruition either.
And as Saudi Arabia recently showed with their purchase of the PGA Tour (Professional Golfers Association), the money that manifested Fury vs. Ngannou could easily be applied to a co-main event featuring Iron Mike vs. Fedor.