Fedor Emelianenko is returning to a Strikeforce cage this summer. Retirement is nowhere in the immediate future.
According to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, the Russian heavyweight will enter the cage again at a yet to be announced event in July or August. In addition to having no venue scheduled for his next fight, Fedor is also without an opponent, but talks are underway to determine who that opponent will be.
“He’ll be back in July/August sometime. As far as the opponent, we are talking to him right now, so give us a few weeks on that one,” Coker told MMAWeekly.com.
Coker reiterated that making Emelianenko an alternate in the current Heavyweight Grand Prix is a strong possibility. Apart from from reentering the tournament, Coker added, “I’d like to see him fight Fabricio Werdum in a rematch.”
Emelianenko (30-3, 1 NC) was last seen in a losing effort against Antonio Silva at Strikeforce/M-1 Global: Fedor vs. Silva last February. The loss was Fedor’s second in a row, and arguably the most lopsided performance of his career. He was fully mounted by Silva in the second round, absorbing strikes from the Brazilian heavyweight. Ultimately, the fight ended when cageside doctor’s declared Emelianenko unfit to answer the bell for the third round.
Zuffa, LLC (the parent company of the UFC) recently acquired Strikeforce, raising many questions about Emelianenko’s status. The Russian heavyweight’s management company, M-1 Global, has had a rocky history negotiating with UFC officials. Zuffa has been adamant, however, that Strikeforce, at least for the near term, will operate in a “business as usual” mode and honor its current contracts, including that of Fedor.
MMAWeekly.com will continue to follow up on Emelianenko’s next opponent as more information becomes available.