Fedor Emelianenko may not be fighting in Strikeforce any longer, but the former Pride champion will continue competing with his next bout expected in Russia later this year.

M-1 Global representative and Emelianenko’s manager Vadim Finkestein says that his fighter isn’t ready to hang up the gloves yet and plans to return to action in his native country in 2011.

“We consulted with Fedor and it was decided that he should not leave the sport in this way. His friends and past opponents support Fedor in continuing his career and he agreed,” said Finkelstein. “We want to organize a fight for Fedor in Russia and have already begun working in this direction. If everything goes as planned, we will produce a card in Moscow or St. Petersburg sometime in the fall with Fedor as the main event.”

Finkelstein has also planned a return for Fedor in Japan with a show hopefully concluding 2011 for a New Year’s Eve card.

“In addition to the fight in Russia, we’re also working with our Japanese contacts to organize a New Year’s Eve event in Japan that Fedor would participate in as well,” Finkelstein commented.

While Fedor’s immediate plans land him in Russia and possibly Japan, the former Pride and Strikeforce fighter isn’t done competing in the United States yet. The M-1 Global fighter still has a standing deal with Showtime and hopes to return to the states in 2012.

“If all is successful, in 2012 we’ll be back in the U.S,” said Finkelstein. “All these ideas are being developed right now and we want to work exactly according to this plan.”

Emelianenko has suffered three consecutive losses after his storied career saw him undefeated for several years.

Following his latest defeat at the hands of Dan Henderson in late July, Emelianenko was effectively released from Strikeforce, although he never had a contract with the promotion directly.

M-1 Global has not released an opponent or date for Emelianenko’s return, but more news is expected in the coming weeks.


Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
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