Heavyweight great Fedor Emelianenko will enter the ring at least
once more. | Photo: Dave Mandel
We have not seen the last of Fedor
Despite speculation that his
July 30 knockout loss to Dan
Henderson may have spelt the end of his career, a Monday
release from Emelianenko’s management at M-1 Global
revealed that the Russian heavyweight is not done yet.
“We consulted with Fedor and it was decided that he should not
leave the sport in this way,” stated M-1 Global President and
Co-Founder Vadim 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
No opponent was named for the bout, which would mark Emelianenko’s
first in-ring appearance in his home country since April 2007, when
he submitted Matt
Lindland under the Bodog Fight banner in St. Petersburg.
On Aug. 4,
UFC President Dana White announced that Emelianenko had been
cut by Zuffa, LLC, subsidiary Strikeforce
following his third consecutive defeat. However, according to M-1
officials, the 34-year-old former
Pride Fighting Championships kingpin was never under contract
with Strikeforce and instead remains tied to American premium cable
channel Showtime through an unspecified deal.
Emelianenko’s Russian return may not be his only homecoming in
2011, either. Per Finkelstein, M-1 is currently “working with our
Japanese contacts to organize a New Year’s Eve event in Japan that
Fedor would participate in as well.” Between 2003 and 2007,
Emelianenko competed in Japan every Dec. 31, his most recent trip
ending in an armbar submission win over South Korean giant Hong Man