That’s the good word, according to Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer:
Monte Cox and the M-1 crew are in Dallas today in a closed-door meeting with Art of War to finalize a Fedor Emelianenko vs. Pedro Rizzo fight that would tentatively take place in Las Vegas in April. Money terms have been agreed and the meeting is to finalize a deal and sign the contracts.
Well, for those who thought Fedor might be going to Chicago, your dreams have been crushed. For those who seriously thought he might fight Josh Barnett, your dreams have been crushed as well. Pedro Rizzo? How underwhelming. First, we’re going to see Fedor beat up on Hong Man Choi (allegedly) and then Pedro Rizzo?
It continues to get harder and harder to defend Emelianenko as the best fighter in the world. Rizzo was badly beaten by Sergei Kharitonov at PRIDE Critical Countdown 20005 and I expect a fight with Fedor to go the exact same way. Standing up, Rizzo eating bombs, and eventually going down hard in the first round.
And then what’s next for Fedor? If he and M-1 care about preserving his credibility, he needs to beat someone relevant. That someone is Randy Couture, obviously, but he’s off the market. The next best thing is Josh Barnett and M-1 needs to do everything in their power to make that fight happen. It will only get harder to defend him as the consensus #1 fighter in the world until he fights someone relevant.