Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko criticizes Khabib over McGregor brawl (VIDEO)
Emelianenko, 42, is preparing for what could well be one last title shot when he faces Ryan Bader in the Bellator Grand Prix final in California this weekend.
But ahead of that fight, the giant Russian was asked his thoughts on countryman Khabib, who has emerged as his nation’s MMA talisman following his win over Irish megastar McGregor.Also on rt.com '22yrs after the bear, I wrestle with a McChicken': Khabib throws dig at McGregor Down Under (VIDEO)
That victory saw Khabib vault the cage to confront members of McGregor’s team, sparking a brawl for which both fighters are awaiting potentially lengthy bans.
Having previously kept his counsel when asked about the infamous incident, Emelianenko finally offered his thoughts on his fellow Russian’s conduct.
“I had a heavy impression after what I saw,” Emelianenko said in answer to a question on the 'ethics' of Nurmagomedov's actions.
“It must have been an emotional response to what happened,” he added, referring to the toxic build-up to Nurmagomedov’s showdown with the notoriously brash Irishman.
For the first time since October 6 Fedor commented on a situation after Khabib and Conor's fight. The author of the question is a girl from the magazine «Ethics in show business and the world of sports» #Bellator214pic.twitter.com/QnQmtNAsj2— Yaroslav Stepanov (@wonders4341) January 24, 2019
When pressed on whether Khabib’s reaction in vaulting the cage and hurling himself at McGregor coach Dillon Danis was unprofessional, Emelianenko paused before answering: “A professional should remain a professional, and not vent their emotions outside the cage.”
Emelianenko's comments will not tell Nurmagomedov anything he doesn't already know, however.
The UFC lightweight champion himself recently said he was braced for a ban of up to a year over the incident as he awaits a Nevada State Athletic Commission ruling.
While Khabib’s immediate future remains uncertain, Emelianenko knows that he is very much nearing the end of his time in the cage.
‘The Last Emperor’ owns a record of 38-5, and famously went unbeaten in 28 fights spanning almost a decade.
“To tell the truth, at my age right now, more and more I’m thinking about retiring,” Emelianenko said.Also on rt.com 'People respect Fedor too much': Ryan Bader on key to beating Russian MMA legend Emelianenko
“And it is not because I don’t want to fight. It’s definitely because of the age and all the injuries that speak.
“There’s been no adjustments, no changes in the training process. But it takes more time to recover,” he added.