Even though he’s never battled in the boxing ring, Emelianenko, 46, made it clear to Ariel Helwani of “The MMA Hour” that Tyson would be a fun opponent for him.
“Mike Tyson would be an interesting fight,” Emelianenko said on the August 9 episode of the show. “He has a big name, 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.”
Tyson, 57, hasn’t fought since 2020, when he ended a 15-year-long retirement to face another former boxing world champion, Roy Jones Jr., in a one-off exhibition match. The eight-round Triller main event was declared an unofficial draw.
Emilianenko (40-7, 1 N/C) competed in his last MMA fight — a TKO loss — in February 2023. His Bellator heavyweight title rematch against Ryan Bader was billed as his swan song, and Emelianenko has stuck to his word after failing to capture another major promotional title.
‘I Will Be Ready,’ Fedor Emelianenko Wants Mike Tyson Inside the Ring
“The Last Emperor” told Helwani that he had no intention of donning the 4-ounce MMA gloves again, but he did say that he’d like to try his hand at the sweet science.
“MMA is done, 100 percent,” Emilianenko said. “I’m not going back to MMA. I want to try myself in boxing. I think that’s going to be interesting.”
Six months after his last fight, he is starting to get back in shape, he said.
“After the last fight with Bader, I took a break,” Emilianenko told Helwani. “I started lifting weights a little bit, got some muscles back so my injuries are going away, so my shoulder feels better a little bit, and I started boxing, so I feel pretty good and pretty confident in boxing.
Mike Tyson vs. Fedor Emelianenko in October?
Tyson (50-6) is currently helping prepare former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou to take out WBC heavyweight king Tyson Fury. They’re set to box in a non-title match in Saudi Arabia on October 28. With Iron Mike in the gym alongside “The Predator,” Emelianenko said he’d jump at the chance to fight Tyson during the night’s undercard.
“That would be awesome,” Emelianenko said. “If it would be possible I definitely would do it. I will be ready.”
“I always train,” he continued. “There was a camp right now in Russia. I was there. I’m always ready. I heard that Mike Tyson is going to help Francis Ngannou to prepare for this fight, so he’s probably in good shape too.”
For the past few years, combat sports fans have watched several boxer versus mixed martial artist boxing matches.
YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul picked up a win over MMA superstar Nate Diaz this past weekend, for example. Also, former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis defeated Jones Jr. in April.
So, even though Iron Mike would have the clear experience and technical advantage, Emelianenko said he believes his time in the gym training boxing would make the potential legend vs. legend contest “interesting.”