Fedor Emelianenko: “I have to go to the U.S. in order to face the strongest opponents.”

Given Fedor Emelianenko’s failed run in Strikeforce and past contractual issues with Zuffa it seems improbable The Last Emperor” will ever grace the Octagon. However, in an interesting turn of events the iconic Russian recently acknowledged the UFC is the place to be for any Mixed Martial Artist hoping to face the sport’s best, even going so far as to tease a possible match-up with Cain Velasquez.

While his statements could be seen as posturing in hopes of eliciting a better deal overseas and do little to address the issue of co-promotion as M-1 Global has sought before, they do at least lend hope to the slim possibility of Emelianenko finally making his way to the infamous eight-sided cage.

Saying he was targeting June/July for his next fight in an interview with SportBox.ru, Emelianenko added, “Of course, I want to compete at home, in front of my countrymen. But at the moment, the strongest and most respected MMA organization is situated in America. It’s the UFC. Therefore, I have to go to the US in order to face the strongest opponents.”

The 33-4 PRIDE legend also confirmed there have been discussions behind the scenes about meeting former UFC champion Velasquez later this year.

Emelianenko has won back-to-back bouts since parting ways with Strikeforce including victories over Jeff Monson and Satoshi Ishii. The 35-year old looked dominant in both performances though neither is at the UFC-level in terms of present ability, calling into question how well he’d actually do against the cream of the crop.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

21 COMMENTS
  • AlphaOmega says:

    Maybe he can join Ifsw, I think that’s their name, and do the new Pro1 fighting style.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    Cain vs. Fedor on July 4th weekend… which doesn’t really work out too well this year, with the 4th falling on a Wednesday, but regardless… make it happen!!

    Yeah Fedor is past his prime and it’s a damn shame he & his camp didn’t allow this to happen sooner. But I’d still love to see it, and for the first time feel like it’s actually going to work out.

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  • AlphaOmega says:

    Oops just IFS, no W

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  • Rece Rock says:

    Fedor Emelianenko: “The sky is blue.”

    But seriously… I think there is something lost in translation when he says there have been discussions behind the scenes about meeting former UFC champion Velasquez later this year.

    I mean if M-1 & Zuffa were in talks again it would be hard to keep that a secret from media and fans alike… plus I think M-1 would never accept what Zuffa is probably offering at this point… I mean they didn’t like the offers they were getting back when Fedor was still a very sought after fighter and had the mystique or what ever … would M-1 really entertain the offers that Zuffa would probably be pitching now that he has lost most of that buzz…. I mean really can anybody picture DW or zuffa bending over backwards for Fedor to sign? He needs them more then they need him at this time… things are much different then the last go round.
    At the same time I can’t picture M-1 being humble enough to accept an average contract offer in the hopes of getting something better if Fedor produces… I think they are just posturing for DREAM or ONE fc to give them a big co-promotion pay day… paging Bobby Lashley.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    After all the BS back-and-forth negotiations in the past, I’ve gotta think Dana would love nothing more than to bring Fedor over, make one big fight that would rake in huge $$, and ultimately see Fedor get beat/exposed as Dana has often predicted. Sorta chew him up & spit him out, a la Kimbo and James Toney.

    Of course, even at 35 Fedor is still Fedor, and IMO capable of still beating the top UFC guys. Capable.

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  • Richard Stabone says:

    plus I think M-1 would never accept what Zuffa is probably offering at this point… I mean they didn’t like the offers they were getting back when Fedor was still a very sought after fighter and had the mystique or what ever … would M-1 really entertain the offers that Zuffa would probably be pitching now that he has lost most of that buzz…

    I think you’ve got it backwards. The last time negotiations really heated up, Fedor *was* still very sought after, which led to M-1 completely overplaying their hand and busting out.

    Now Fedor’s mystique is all but gone, and M-1 has to realize they have no leverage whatsoever, with their prized fighter having suffered multiple defeats & headed toward his late 30s. The window is closing quickly, so this is the last real chance, and M-1 will be the ones bending over backwards. Or Fedor finally putting his foot down to make it happen himself.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Articles about Fedor and the UFC are like articles about Gina and MMA; teasing something that will not happen.

    Search the archives for all the obvious reasons why; I do not have the energy for the Fedor “debate” for the hundredth time.

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  • MCM says:

    I gotta agree with Richard on this one. This is the first time we’ve really heard Fedor say something about the future of his fight career as opposed to Vladim and the rest of the “crazy Russians” (M-1). I still think Fedor is a draw against top opposition and if Dana can get him at the right price, there’s no reason not to have him in the UFC.

    I also agree with Faust, there’s no reason to call out anyone on either side as it’s all been said before.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    Respectfully Richard, In the past it seemed M-1 was so full of themselves and so intent on co-promotion or some sort of profit sharing that I doubt very much has changed on there end… they aren’t in this for a 10% managment fee from Fedor they are in this for the big bucks and Zuffa isn’t going that road… I can’t picture M-1 being so humble as to except a very average offer for Fedor, regardless of how little leverage they have… especially when they have a plan B in Japan/ Russia and regardless of the skillset of the opponent, they will still get paid well and get to co-promote and plaster there brand everywhere.
    I don’t ever see M-1 being out of the picture when it comes to Fedor… but i hope I’m wrong.

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  • danw84 says:

    Regardless of people’s opinions on his current abilities and whether he is or isn’t anything from being just a can crusher to a legit great, I’d still love to see Fedor in the UFC at least just once.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    “This is the first time we’ve really heard Fedor say something about the future of his fight career “- MCM

    Thats the thing MCM… my understanding is it’s a translation… who really knows what he meant or how well it was translated…sometimes even if the words are there the meaning behind them is still not captured.

    Sorry but I gotta be a Pessimist on this one.

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  • trupert says:

    Sooooo, Strikeforce mentioned something about the HW winner fighting one more time before going over to the UFC. What I’d like to see is SF do a Fedor vs Kharitonov fight to (hopefully) get some semi-hype around Fedor again and then fight Fedor vs Barnett/Cormier winner….both fights could be marketed well especially the ‘Fight that was supposed to happen but instead brought down Afflicition – Barnett vs Fedor’
    Pretty much juice out the Fedor name/brand. Strikeforce/Showtime win since it’s about the best they could do in the way of name recognition and ‘top contender’ for the SF HW winner to fight. UFC wins if the SFHW champ looks good in the HW final and beating Fedor. Comes into the UFC with momentum.
    Fedor/M-1 wins if they are serious about the title of this article and getting a couple of US fights to bring back some hype to his name before he retires and/or takes novelty fights in Japan and Europe.
    ….unfortunately M-1hasn’t been the most accommodating with their cash cow. Hopefully sensing the beginning of the end of his career, they final cave a little. We’ll see

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  • Rece Rock says:

    agreed Danw84… it would monumental regardless to see him in the Octagon… and even a Fedor naysayer like myself would be eager to see him in there.

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    on a side note
    Jeff Monson and Satoshi Ishii neither is at the UFC-level in terms of present ability

    first off i seem to remember an article here recently about Olympians in MMA, may not have been the same writer but icmon, Ishii is a test for anyone, plus he beat Minowaman, so he must be good.
    and i think Jeff Monson still out fights a lot of the UFC HWs, Schaud, Mitrione, Kongo, Hunt etc
    anyone outside the top 10 in the UFC he would compete strongly against. Guy just went 3 rounds with Cormier who in turn just knocked out Bigfoot, a consensus top 10 these days.

    also agree with Rece about translation, behind the scenes talks could be a chat in the pub

    still love to see Fedor compete though

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  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Different writer but regardless, saying someone is not UFC-level is different than saying they aren’t a test for a lot of fighters. And I assume you’re kidding about Minowaman (who recently lost to Kendall Grove).

    Also, on the subject of Monson, his biggest win in the last two years came against Travis Fulton while he lost to Travis Wiuff and Shamil Abdurahimov in the same span. Yeah, he went three rounds with Cormier…and got outclassed throughout.

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  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    When Fedor said “behind the scenes” what he meant is me and my shady Russian management team decided we wanted to fight Velasquez and co-promote a six figure fight with UFC but, Dana still sends all our calls straight to voicemail.

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    say Monson is not UFC level is saying that any fighter in the UFC at HW could most likely beat him.
    i think a Jeff Monson who has time to train properly for fights and not fighting multiple times a year is more than just a test for the UFC non top 10 HWs, for sure

    i was joking about Minowa though

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  • Rece Rock says:

    Hey cut the snowman some slack…
    In all fairness it’s hard to juggle Arnarchy and MMA training…
    Spray paint and gi’s don’t mix.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Maybe Monson of old, but his schedule and the effects of time cannot be discounted.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    Haha, Rece. I’ve always wondered how an anarchist reconciles their ethos with the unified RULES of MMA.

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  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Its a win win now and will happen.

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