It’s no secret that the UFC would love to ink the legend that is Fedor Emelianenko. With the history between the two, now would be a good a time as any to get that signature on paper.
It wasn’t until the collapse of Affliction that the UFC, Dana White and Fedor Emelianenko tried to work out an exclusive deal. Widely considered to be the greatest heavyweight in the world at the time, Dana White admitted to Fedor becoming an obsession, “He has become my obsession. I want him in the UFC worse than the fans want it.” Negotiations between the parties fell apart when Fedor’s management demanded a co-promotion between M-1 Global and the UFC which White would not stand for.
Now fast forward to 2015 and the promotion and Fedor are said to once again be deep in negotiations. So the question that comes to mind is, how good is Fedor right now and who, should he be signed by the UFC, he fight? Below is a list of possible opponents for the Russian Should he set foot inside the Octagon.
1. Fabricio Werdum
The fight that makes the most sense from a business perspective would have to be the rematch from June 26, 2010 at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum. The night Fabricio Werdum shocked the world and made a name for himself after he submitted Fedor who was undefeated through 28 contests prior to this fight.
After this fight Fedor would go 3-2 with 2 TKO loses coming at the hands of Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson. Since his win over Fedor Werdum is 6-1 with wins over Roy Nelson, Mark Hunt & Travis Browne on his way to beating Cain Velasquez to become the UFC heavyweight champion. Title fight or not, fans around the world would flock to see this rematch.
2. Mark Hunt
These two did battle at Pride FC: Shockwave on Dec. 31, 2006 in front of a sold out Saitama Super Arena in Japan. Fighting for the Pride FC Heavyweight championship they went back an forth for 8 minutes until Fedor was able to secure a deep Kimura and Hunt was forced to tap out.
Known for their respective abilities in the stand up, especially the Mark Hunt of the past 3-years, this would make for a fun first UFC fight should Fedor be signed. With Hunts ability to keep fights standing and Fedors willingness to engage in stand up fights this would make for a solid PPV main-card bout. Again, new and old fans would travel the world to watch these two go at it one more time.
3. Rampage Jackson
A former Pride FC standout and former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson is still a hard fight for anyone. One of the worlds most recognisable figures in the world of MMA, Quinton always welcomes a fight.
Yes, Fedor is a heavyweight and Rampage a light heavyweight but the 225 pound Russian is a meer 15 pounds away from the next division. With Rampage and Fedor both being cult hero’s in Japan, and being hugely favoured in North America this fight has the potential to be a huge success for both. Two former champions and Pride legends, for the casual and die hard MMA fan it would be like Christmas has come early.
4. Cain Velasquez
The former UFC heavyweight champion was the ‘baddest man on the planet’ after beating Brock Lesnar to become the champ. After a minor set back against Junior Dos Santos, Cain was a very dominant and unforgiving champion. With finishes over JDS & Antonio Silva Cain was thought to be a modern day Fedor in terms of his pure talent and willingness to no matter what get the job done.
With the possibility of Fedor signing with the UFC this fight may very well come to fruition if Cain can keep healthy. Cain and his wrestling vs. Fedor and his submissions would make for an interesting fight. Both men can stand and bang and they can both do damage on the ground. A true test of spirit.
5. Matt Mitrione
The TUF: 10 veteran is widely considered to the most athletic heavyweight on the UFC roster. With his fluid movement and deadly striking abilities Mitrione could be the perfect opponent.
With 9-4 record (8 wins via KO) Mitrione would be no easy task for the returning Fedor. A much less experienced fighter, Matt makes up for it with hard work and dedication. Constantly on the look out for a step up in competition Mitrione would expectedly jump at this possible fight. A win over Fedor could well lead to possible title contention for Mitrione. Looking to rebound from a loss in last fight, Mitrione would look for the finish and to make a huge statement.
With all the above fights being an ideal octagon debut for Fedor, the one fight I left off is the Andrei Arkovski rematch. I firmly believe Fedor vs. Arlovski 2 should happen after Fedor has had 1-2 fights post retirement. One things for sure, it would make a cracking main or co-main event for any PPV.
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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