“I Didn’t Know Fedor Had a Sense of Humor”– MMA Fans React As Fedor Emelianenko Throws Cheeky Jibe at UFC Legend Chuck Liddell

Published 02/06/2023, 9:15 AM EST

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Bellator 290 saw one of the greatest legends of the sport of mixed martial arts call it quits. Fedor Emelianenko, after having one of the, if not the most influential careers in MMA, finally decided to hang up his gloves. The Russian legend’s career, spanning 23 years, saw him face some of the scariest names in MMA while he almost single-handedly took the sport into mainstream culture.

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In order to commemorate his career, Bellator managed to get many of the legends from his generation inside the cage as he retired. Although the 46-year-old ended up losing against Ryan Bader in the first round, the reactions from the fans and the other fighters definitely ensured that Emelianenko had a great sendoff.

As he interacted with his former counterparts, MMA fans were quick to notice his reaction to meeting Chuck Liddell. Former UFC champion Liddell seemed out of shape after retirement, and the Russian jokingly pointed it out to him. The clip of this sequence saw MMA fans react to it on Twitter, which was posted by an MMA page called Spinnin Backfist.


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Twitter reacts to Fedor Emelianenko and Chuck Liddell’s funny interaction

The clip showed Fedor Emelianenko interacting with some of the legends, like Matt Hughes, Royce Gracie, and Chuck Liddell. As the Russian shook hands with Liddell, he pointed out jokingly that the former UFC champ had grown a ‘belly’. Liddell seemed to take it in stride as the two gentlemen laughed about it.

Fans on Twitter swiftly jumped on this video and shared their reactions to the two legends. Here are some of the top reactions from fans.


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a fan appreciated the presence of many MMA greats on that night.

One fan referred to Emelianenko’s famous stoic nature and how he never gave away his emotion.

Another fan tweeted what the Russian must have felt when seeing Liddell.

A couple of individuals went right at the Iceman, calling him ‘Chunk’ and even claiming he was getting a ‘beer belly’.

Someone even had the crazy notion of Liddell and Emelianenko facing each other.

Almost all other reactions were people tweeting with smileys and laughing emojis on the clip.

MMA legends come together as Emelianenko retires at Bellator 290


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Bellator 290 was clearly a rare night in terms of MMA events. The promotion’s president Scott Coker pulled off a stunning get-together of some of the greatest names in the sport to pay homage to Fedor Emelianenko’s career. Among them were Chuck Liddell, Mark Coleman, Quinton Jackson, Royce Gracie, Renzo Gracie, Josh Barnett, Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Frank Shamrock, Chael Sonnen, and Matt Hughes.

The Russian’s previous opponents like Jackson, Coleman, Sonnen, and Henderson were also in attendance. Although he lost to a few of them, Emelianenko’s career will stand the test of time considering his influence in the sport. Surprisingly, UFC’s very own Dana White didn’t seem too impressed with the Russian’s career.

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As another one of the older generations of fighters retires, this could well be the last of them to do so. Considering the drubbing he received from Ryan Bader, Emelianenko clearly should have retired earlier. But despite the fight’s end, it should not be how Fedor Emelianenko’s career gets judged since for many, he is still the greatest MMA fighter of all time.

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Written by:

Pragjyoti Singh


One take at a time

Pragjyoti is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. He is extremely passionate about MMA and has a good understanding of the sport and its technicalities. Having trained in the sport along with a passion for journalism, it has helped him develop a keen interest in the UFC and anything related to the promotion.
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Edited by:

Amal Joyce




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