Fedor keeps his plans for future a secret!
Fedor Emelianenko’s return to mixed martial arts is coming closer and the hype is growing bigger every day. Fedor and Randy Couture appeared at the media day for Bellator 142 and even “clashed” in a friendly staredown. This public appearance caused another wave of discussion and controversy over Fedor’s future comeback in general and the promotion he’s going to choose in particular.
Though many fans and fighters would love to see Fedor among the UFC heavyweights, Dana White has not much to say. When asked about Fedor at the press conference in Melbourne, White said: “The Fedor thing has been a mystery for a very long time. We’ve obviously talked to them (Fedor’s management). I don’t know what they’re doing right now or what their plans are.”
Signing with UFC would be perfect for Fedor from the point of view of the challenge. The promotion’s heavyweight roster features great fighters and everyone – Cain Velasquez, Mark Hunt, Frank Mir or Fedor’s most serious offender, the current heavyweight title holder Fabricio Werdum – can be a perfect matchup for the “Last Emperor”. However, a great challenge suggests greater risks. As almost everybody is unaware of Fedor’s current shape, it’s very easy to imagine him suffering a huge beating in his first comeback fight. And that’s surely not what Emelianenko and his management wish to happen.
Bellator has its own advantages for Fedor. First of all, Fedor and Scott Coker used to work together in the Strikeforce years. In contrast with Dana White, Emelianenko and Coker always showed maximum respect for each other. However, in his recent interview to MMAJunkie Scott Coker said that Bellator has no interest in signing Fedor: “We had a great time doing the fights together with Fedor. I felt like we’ve done it already with Fedor. I’m not sure where he’s going – if he’s close to signing with the UFC, I hear rumors of this and that. I haven’t asked him. The door is open, but I felt like at this point, Bellator is kind of on a little bit of a roll here. Would he add a lot of value? Yes. But we’re just going to sit back and see what happens.”
The only one who could shed some light on the matter is Fedor. The Russian heavyweight gave quite a number of interviews (that was the first time he did it in English!) to all the major MMA internet media but every time when asked about his choice of promotion Fedor just kept smiling and said that he’ll reveal everything in only two weeks. However, on Saturday Fedor announced on Instagram that his first fight will take place on December 31 in Japan and that it has been settled with Nobuyuki Sakakibara, former PRIDE owner. That said, it remains unclear whether Fedor plans to get in shape in a couple of fights against weaker opponents and then get to serious business or has “The Last Emperor” chosen the path of least resistance.