Legendary Russian heavyweight fighter Fedor Emelianenko is closer than ever to finally fighting in the UFC’s Octagon after he confirmed he’s in talks with the promotion.
“This is being negotiated, in particular with the UFC, as well as some other promotions.” Emelianenko said of a potential return to fighting, “I think it will soon be finally determined.”
No doubt the “other promotions” he speaks of would include Bellator where his ex-Strikeforce boss Scott Coker now runs the show, but the fact that Fedor himself has indicated that he has a desire to avenge an old loss to current UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum who ended his long undefeated run in 2010 suggests that he has his sights set on competing in the Octagon.
“I would like to face the strongest fighters in the world – UFC champion Fabricio Werdum. Given that over three years, I did not fight during the first fight I would like to get involved, check for myself.”
Fedor has been retired for three years and has acknowledged he’d probably need a tune up fight before taking on a bout of that magnitude, but it definitely seems as if the 38 year-old has rediscovered his love of fighting.
“The desire to fight in my blood,” Fedor admitted. “I’m in the sport for 11 years – my whole life is training and competition. Over the years, there has been a thirst not only to participate in battles, but also to transfer their knowledge and skills. After consulting with trainers, with the support of the family, I decided to return.”
Fedor fighting in the UFC isn’t the huge deal it would have been 5 or 6 years ago when he was still riding a 10 year unbeaten run in the sport. That string of three defeats in a row against Werdum, Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson definitely took a lot of the wind out of those sails.
Nevertheless, who’s to say that he couldn’t become a force to be reckoned with once again? After all, no one would have predicted that Mark Hunt would one day fight for an interim UFC title at the age of 40 when he returned to the UFC coming off a long losing streak, and there was few expectations for Andrei Arlovski either when he came back last year, yet he’s now put together three wins in a row, is ranked No.4 in the world and is almost within reach of a title shot.
Over the course of his career to date Fedor has defeated both Hunt and Arlovski with relative ease and with the UFC’s heavyweight division not exactly being in a strong position at this moment in time, perhaps in the twilight of his career he too can follow in their footsteps, turn back the clock and become ‘The Last Emperor’ once again.