It rarely happens, but Fedor Emelianenko has actually stepped forward to name who he would like to fight next – and it seems that the Russian star is not looking to duck tough opposition despite suffering his first loss in ten years to Fabricio Werdum in June.
“This year, in November-December, I would like to meet in a cage with Alistair Overeem,” Fedor tells Russian site mixfight.ru.
M-1 Global’s Director Of Operations Evgeni Kogan later appeared to confirm the statement on twitter.
“Fedor has categorically stated who he wants to fight next. It’s a fight that should please everyone,” Kogan says.
“It is just 1 specific fighter. Best location is probably in the US, in December,” he also added in response to a fan’s follow-up question.
Overeem is of course the current Strikeforce heavyweight champion, and a fight between the two had been expected to take place following the Werdum fight if Fedor had won.
As usual, despite this latest development it’s still by no means certain that this will happen. Just a few days ago we reported that M-1 Global owner Vadim Finkelstein had gone on record stating that Fedor would likely be having an interim fight outside of Strikeforce in either Russia or Japan while waiting on a rematch with Werdum.
Fedor himself is undoubtedly keen to have the chance to avenge that loss, but he seems prepared to wait for the opportunity.
“I would like to have a rematch with Werdum. But as he had surgery this fight unlikely to happen soon,” Fedor said.
Under the circumstances a December Strikeforce event headlined by Fedor Vs Overeem sounds like an excellent idea, but if we’ve learned anything it’s that there’s probably going to be more twists and turns in this story before we finally get a clear picture of what’s happening.
After this story broke M-1 Global followed up with a statement confirming that they will now be pursuing a fight with Overeem.
“This is an important match for me and something that I personally want to happen,” Fedor said in the statement. “There have been conversations about putting this match-up together in the past and now is the time to begin making this bout possible.”
M-1 Global’s Evgeni Kogan added, “M-1 Global wants to make this fight happen. As a global mixed martial arts company committed to driving the evolution of the sport and showcasing match-ups that the fans deserve to see, we want to make this bout a reality in 2010.”
So for a change it seems that M-1 Global are willing to be transparent in their actions, and in doing so have shown a willingness to put their major asset, Fedor, in the line of fire against a dangerous opponent in Alistair Overeem.
Now it appears the ball is firmly in Overeem’s court. Before the Werdum fight he was the one calling for the Fedor fight. Afterwards he appeared to turn his attentions towards Werdum who he also hold a previous loss too, and there’s also been suggestions that he’s been eyeing a return to K-1.
Hopefully he hasn’t committed to that yet and will now refocus his attention on Fedor so that this fight can take place.
Update 2.0: M-1 Global have already thrown a spanner in the works just hours after releasing this statement! Read more here