It seems “The Last Emperor” has his next fight booked.
Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan announced Friday
Emelianenko will return to the ring on June 21 at the Ice
Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Kogan also teased that
Emelianenko’s opponent would be announced at a later time.
While Kogan did not release specifics regarding the June 21 event,
it is expected to be held under the M-1 banner. First, however, the
Russian promotion will hold M-1 Challenge 32 on May 16 at the
Crocus Expo in Moscow. While a main event has yet to be officially
announced, that event will feature a lightweight title bout between
Weichel and Yuri Ivlev as
well as an appearance from Aleksander
Emelianenko against a to-be-named foe.
The elder Emelianenko earned a pair of wins to close out last year
after suffering an unprecedented three consecutive losses.
Previously regarded as the world’s top heavyweight, Emelianenko,
35, was finished by Fabricio
Silva and Dan
Henderson in the Strikeforce
cage before receiving his promotional release.
Following those defeats, Emelianenko responded with a unanimous
decision victory over former
UFC title challenger Jeff Monson
this past November. Most recently, the Russian earned a first-round
knockout over Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi
Dream's New Year's Eve show in Saitama, Japan.