There was a time in recent weeks where it really did look as if there was a solid chance the UFC might finally sign Fedor Emelianenko, but a curveball was thrown last weekend when it was revealed that ‘The last Emperor’ would in fact be signing for a new Japanese promotion instead.
It was surprising because Fedor had expressed publicly his desire to avenge an old loss to Fabricio Werdum, and given that the Brazilian is currently the UFC’s heavyweight champion it seemed that he had his sights set on fighting in the Octagon.
So what changed his mind? Well, given that he’s a man of few words it’s often hard to decipher what Fedor is thinking, but we think we’ve got a pretty good idea.
According to MMAfighting’s Dave Meltzer, the Russian star will be paid a whopping $2.5 million to fight for former PRIDE boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara’s new promotion on New Years Eve in an event that will air on Spike TV.
At this stage it’s unclear how long Fedor’s deal with the yet-to-be-named promotion will last with conflicting reports suggesting either a one or two fight deal.
At this stage Fedor’s first opponent is also still under wraps and there’s been little in the way of details about the rest of the NYE fight card, though it’s believed several other Russians will take part along with a number of fighters from the Bellator promotion, while 6ft 2″ female jiu-jitsu star Gabi Garcia has revealed she’ll be making her MMA debut.