The buzz surrounding Fedor possibly fighting on New Year’s Eve is continuing. I didn’t listen, but apparently Greg Savage talked about Fedor fighting on 12/31 in Japan at length today on Sherdog.com radio.
After talking to several sources today, I can tell you that all the talk is true. In fact, an official announcement that Fedor will be fighting on New Year’s Eve could be made within the next 24-48 hours. However, it won’t be M-1 Global that will be making that announcement.
Some of the people responsible for putting on PRIDE shows in Japan were already planning on doing a show on 12/31 and they’ve made a deal to essentially “rent” Fedor. This is the promotion that would be making the announcement.
Depending on who you talk to, the 12/31 show is either a farewell to PRIDE’s loyal fanbase in Japan or possibly the start of something bigger. Many of the employees who were laid off by Zuffa when the PRIDE office in Japan was closed are expected to be involved in promoting the show.
An opponent for Fedor has yet to be secured and I’m told that M-1 Global will have final approval on who Fedor fights. There is some truth to the talk that Hong Man Choi is a possibility but nothing has been signed and I’m not even sure Choi has even been formally approached.
We’ll have to see if Choi ends up signing on to face Fedor. Getting permission to borrow Fedor from M-1 Global for one show is one thing but getting permission from K-1 to use Choi could prove even more difficult. If it’s a one-off show, there might be a chance. FEG reportedly at one point was open to the idea of Sakuraba fighting on PRIDE’s last show in Japan this past April.
The vast majority of the undercard is expected to be filled out by many Japanese-based fighters who have fought for PRIDE in the past. In regards to television, that part is still sketchy but I’ve heard that PPV in Japan is a possibility.