All rumors are now official. It is true. The mountains of Japan will shake again…
Last Saturday 19th, during the Bellator 142 Dynamite show, held at the SAP Center in San Jose, California, finally, former PRIDE head, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, announced that the “Last Emperor” Fedor Emelianenko will step once again on the mat.
The exciting announcement accelerated the heart beat of mixed martial arts fans from all over the world, not only because Fedor haven’t fought in 3 years, but the chance of being able to watch one of the best mixed martial artist in history, fighting one more time, is simply priceless.
Emelianenko, put down his gloves back in June 2012 in St. Petersburg, Russia, after fighting and defeating the three time heavyweight UFC contender Pedro Rizzo in the first two minutes of first round, but not before he suffered three of his 4 career loss in a row at the Strikeforce organization.
Before Strikeforce, Fedor had 28 straight fights undefeated, with only one earlier controversial loss against Tsuyoshi Kohsaka on December 22, 2000. This made him a coveted fighter for UFC, but negotiations never succeeded, and “The Emperor” signed with Strikeforce.
As exciting the announcement of the return of Fedor Emelianenko to the combat scene might be, it has a sour taste for many fans. First of all, Fedor will be fighting in Japan and not in the USA. He is also fighting again for PRIDE, the legendary mixed martial arts tournament where he became a hero and not for Bellator or UFC.
This brings up the obvious and immediate question… Against who, is he fighting?
Neither, Bellator’s president, Scott Coker, nor the event’s promoter Nobuyuki Sakakibara, announced a match up, and most certainly because they don’t have one.
There are a few contenders that could be a worthy opponent for the Emperor. “I am not saying there isn’t any talent out there, but the guy is a legend and you need another legend to fill the opposite corner.”
With recent comebacks of great “old school” names to the UFC, like Andrei Arlovski and Frank Mir or thrilling match ups like Roy Nelson, Fabricio Werdum or Alistair Overeem, would be a real shame that Emelianenko didn’t face a worthy contender.
However, the announcement has been made, and it is official. Fedor Emelianenko will fight at New Year’s Eve in Japan and until then, time will be the one to decide against whom, will he be fighting?