The MMA world is abuzz with the news of the return of MMA great Fedor Emelianenko, with the number one question on everyone’s lips being: Which promotion will he end up fighting for?
There has been much conjecture, and speculation regarding this, with the majority of fans hoping that it ends with “The Last Emperor” finally joining the ranks of the UFC. Based on the recent spate of career resurgences in the UFC heavyweight division, it is not inconceivable that Fedor could make a serious run in the UFC. However, recently UFC hall of famer Bas Rutten said on Submission Radio that Fedor “shouldn’t be a heavyweight” and that he would be “an animal” at 205lbs, even going so far as to saying that he could challenge Jon Jones. “He always finds a way to win” Rutten theorised.
Well, a coach of Jon Jones, Mike Winkeljohn, recently spoke to Submission Radio himself, and he has an altogether different opinion on a prospective Jones vs Fedor match-up. “I’ve not even spoken to Jon about it,” he began “but looking at how Fedor’s fights towards the end of his career (went), I think unless he’s changed something, I think that’s an easy fight for Jon.” It is a bold statement, but it’s an honest assessment from a man who sees Jones in training day in and day out. Winkeljohn did go on to say that he is excited about the prospect of Fedor’s return as he was “the king for so long.”
Jones is not the only member of Team Jackson/Winkeljohn whose chances he spoke of in a potential showdown with Fedor. Andrei Arlovski, who Fedor famously knocked out in 2009, has publically called for a rematch, and Winkeljohn thinks the result would be different this time. “Strength-wise Andrei would be so much stronger,” he said, “and as far as the boxing skills, with the range, you know, Andrei’s got him too. So I definitely would put my money on Andrei all night long, and would actually really enjoy seeing that fight.”
It is clear that Winkeljohn is confident his guys can do a job against one of the greatest fighters in MMA history. Only time will tell whether the opportunity for either of those two men to prove Winkeljohn right will arise, but one thing is for sure; if Fedor does sign for the UFC, he certainly will not be short of challengers willing to step into the octagon with him.
Bellator 172: Fedor Emelianenko to fight Matt Mitrione
Fedor Emelianenko, The Last Emperor, will return once again.
For the first time since July 2011, Fedor Emelianenko, also known as “The Last Emperor,” will fight in the United States as he will take on former UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione on February 18 at Bellator 172. The future main event was announced during tonight’s Bellator 165 telecast.
Emelianenko (36-4, 1 NC), arguably the best MMA heavyweight of all time, has a long list of accolades to his name. The 40-year old Russian is a former Pride champion and four-time combat sambo world champion. Although he has wins over a who’s who of MMA legends including Andrei Arlovski and Mark Hunt, not to mention two victories over Antõnio Rodrigo Nogueira, Emelianenko seemed to lose his career-defining dominance in Strikeforce, Bellator President’s Scott Coker’s former promotion, where he lost three consecutive fights to of Dan Henderson, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, and Fabricio Werdum. Since his losing-streak, the Russian is 5-0 and coming off a controversial victory over Fabio Maldonado.
Following a fourteen-fight tenure in the UFC, Matt Mitrione has found a home in Bellator. The Purdue University product has knockout victories over Carl Seumanutafa and Oli Thompson, both of which occurred within the first ten minutes and in a matter of 23 days. Mitrione has two win streaks of over three-fights in his young career and will be looking for another early next year.
Bellator 172 opens up the promotion’s star-studded 2017 calendar year. In January, former UFC title challenger Chael Sonnen will settle a feud with former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz at Bellator 170. Bellator 172 will take place at SAP Center in San Jose, California.
Matt Mitrione Targetted for Fedor Emelianenko’s Bellator Debut
When Fedor Emelianenko appeared on the Bellator Dynamite broadcast on September 19, 2015, to announce his official return to MMA with Rizin in Japan, fans questioned whether the Last Emperor would eventually set foot inside the Bellator cage on American soil. It appears that moment is now closer than ever.
FloCombat reported today that a bout between one of the sport’s all-time greats and former UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrione is being targeted for early 2017. While there has been no official confirmation from Bellator at this time, the report states that the booking is close to completion.
Emelianenko has not fought in the United States since his 2011 defeat to Dan Henderson completed a career first three-fight losing streak, and pushed the former PRIDE heavyweight champion one step closer to retirement.
The Russian superstar would eventually hang up the gloves in 2012 following a first round defeat of former UFC standout Pedro Rizzo. Talk of a return never truly died though, and speculation turned into reality when Emelianenko stepped back into the ring with Rizin on New Year’s Eve in Saitama, Japan. Jaideep Singh provided the opposition that night and was dispatched with ease.
Emelianenko’s return voyage into testy heavyweight waters has not been all plain sailing, with his follow up bout against Fabio Maldonado proving more difficult, and ultimately ending in controversial fashion. While Emelianenko was awarded the majority decision in St. Petersburg, Russia, many felt that the fight should have been stopped in the first round and questioned the judge’s decision to award Emelianenko the bout.
Should the bout with Mitrione come to fruition, it will represent a chance for Emelianenko to silence some of the doubters. Having won three of his last five inside the UFC’s octagon, against Shawn Jordan, Derrick Lewis and Gabriel Gonzaga, and winning his first two inside the Bellator cage, Mitrione remains a top 15 heavyweight and is arguably a tougher opponent than Maldonado before him.
Historically, Emelianenko remains the most dominant heavyweight in the history of the sport, yet holds only a modest 4-3 record on American soil. A bout with Mitrione will tell us plenty about where both fighters are at in their respective careers at this point.
Maldonado formally appeal Fedor EFN 50 fight result to WMMA
It has been revealed today that Fabio Maldonado has launched a stunning appeal to the WMMA about the result of his fight with Fedor Emelianenko on June 17th at Fight Nights 50.
That evening, Fedor Emelianenko was awarded a win by the judges despite suffering a terrible first round where he was dropped and very lucky not to be stopped by the referee. Fedor Emelianenko went on to recover and battle through rounds two and three and when the fight ended he was awarded the victory by the cage side judges.
It’s worthing noting at this point, that the majority of media (as per www.MMADecisions.com) judged that the fight should be scored a draw 28-28.
In the immediate aftermath, it appeared that the Maldonado camp would accept the result but it has been revealed today that they have formally approached the World Mixed Martial Arts association via e-mail to appeal the result of the fight.
In the mail, Maldonado’s team claim that the fight should be ruled a draw or a win to Maldonado and that they were ‘surprised’ to learn that all the judges were Russian and that they were employed my Fedor Emelianenko by the Russian MMA union which Fedor is president of. They also drew particular attention to the fact that Radmir Gabdullin was the head judge and that he had a big conflict of interest given that he is the Russian MMA Union’s vice-president.
The letter asks that a fair judgement of the fight is made by an independent panel of international judges and that the result is changed depending on their judgement and not the original judging of the fight. The full e-mail to the WMMA can be seen below ….
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