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Fedor says he’ll return by New Year’s Eve; rematch with Cro Cop unlikely

Sports Illustrated was able to catch up with Fedor Emelianenko and get some comments on him in regards to when he thinks he’ll be able to step back into the ring as well as his future fight plans:

“I think definitely by New Year’s Eve I’ll be ready to go,” the 31-year-old Russian told Sunday.

“My desire at this point is to meet with the winner of the fight,” said Emelianenko, the only current WAMMA champ. “But I still have a desire to fight with whomever loses as well.

But it doesn’t look like Fedor’s return to the ring will come against the winner of the aforementioned fight between Andrei Arlovski and Josh Barnett. It looks like it will come against an opponent to be determined on a New Year’s Eve show in Japan and that opponent doesn’t look to be Mirko Cro Cop:

Early speculation centered on a rematch of Emelianenko’s tremendous points win in 2005 over Mirko Filipovic. However, a representative for the No. 1-ranked heavyweight said it’s doubtful the fight would take place at this time. In a bout intended for Japanese fight fans, Emelianenko will likely meet a “judo legend or sumo wrestler.”

It would appear that Fedor will fight in another freakshow fight before he steps back into the ring against a legitimate opponent. “Judo legend or sumo wrestler” does not sound like a true challenge for the heavyweight king and is most likely a match that will be put together to appease the Japanese fans on New Year’s Eve. Let’s just hope that after he mauls whatever giant or washed up judoka they put in there with him that he gets back to fighting the top caliber heavyweights in Affliction.