Russian heavyweight star Fedor Emelianenko has admitted that he’s closer than ever to signing for the UFC, though he’s stressed that there are still hurdles to be overcome.

“Right now, I’m much closer compared to when I just came back to MMA,” Emelianenko said during an interview with Ariel Helwani on ‘The MMA Hour’ show yesterday. “Yes, we did receive an offer. But there are some finer points that we wanted to discuss.”

Emelianenko was speaking ahead of his next fight with former UFC fighter Fabio Maldonada at EFN 50 in Russia this coming weekend, which will air on the UFC’s Fight Pass service and has been heavily promoted by the organization on their official YouTube channel.

“I always wanted to fight for UFC and I would fight for UFC, but at this moment we’re looking at the deal and the deal has to satisfy both parties — them and my organization. Until there’s no friction, until we are 100 percent in terms of seeing eye-to-eye, we are all basically in limbo.”

In some ways it’s the same old story, with the UFC appearing to have been close to capturing his signature several times over the years, but up to this point the deal has always collapsed before pen was put to paper, so hopefully this time they can see eye-to-eye and ‘The last Emperor’ does finally get the opportunity to set foot in the Octagon.