Heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko will comes out of retirement to fight on New Years Eve, but not for the UFC, or indeed Bellator, but rather a brand new promotion.
During tonight’s Bellator 142: Dynamite! event it was revealed that Nobuyuki Sakakibara, the former boss of legendary Japanese promotion PRIDE is starting a new promotion which will debut on New Years Eve with a live show from Toyko on Spike TV headlined by ‘The Last Emperor’.
At this stage there’s no word on who Fedor will fight in the main event, but the man himself did make a brief appearance in the cage to tell fans that he’s returning simply because “I’m a fighter, and I am ready.”
Bellator are believed to be a partner in the upcoming show, meaning that we should anticipate seeing a number of fighters from their roster competing on the NYE event.
“We are thrilled to join forces with Nobuyuki Sakakibara and our partner, Bellator President Scott Coker, to give MMA fans a big reason to celebrate this New Year’s Eve: Fedor fighting for free on Spike,” Spike President Kevin Kay said in a statement.
The news will come as a blow to fans who had been hoping that the 38 year-old Russian star was finally heading to the UFC after stating his desire to avenge an old loss by fighting current champion Fabricio Werdum.
Having said that, at this stage it’s not clear whether Fedor has signed to the new, as yet unnamed, promotion for more than one fight.