Various sources have speculated for the past few weeks that Fedor Emelianenko, highly regarded as the top fighter in the world, had agreed to fight in St. Petersburg, Russia for mixed martial arts upstart BodogFight. Fedor’s signing has now been confirmed.
A report by Sherdog.com editor Josh Gross has sited sources within the BodogFight front office as confirming that Fedor Emelianenko has indeed signed to headline their March 3rd fight card.
With a clause in Fedor’s contract with Pride allows him to fight in his home country of Russia, regardless of the promoter, initial speculation was that this would be a one-time deal. According to Gross that may not be so, “One Bodog source indicated that the well-financed company intends to sign Fedor to a long-term deal.” His fight on New Year’s Eve against Mark Hunt is the final fight on his contract, leaving him free to reconsider his long-term options.
After losing their network television deal earlier this year, losing Fedor would be another big blow to the Pride Fighting Championships. One that they don’t need as they are trying to make inroads into the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s dominance in the U.S. market.
Both Gross’ report and independent MMAWeekly.com sources indicate that Fedor’s likely opponent for the March 3rd show is former UFC heavyweight contender Jeff Monson.