Fedor Emelianenko’s opponent for Rizin FF on New Year’s Eve will be Jaideep Singh, the promotion announced recently.
Set for December 31 from Japan, “The Last Emperor” will return to highlight the Spike TV broadcast. The card begins airing via tape-delay at 10 a.m. ET.
Emelianenko (34-4) announced his return earlier this year, and speculation over who he would have centered around Singh (2-0), who trains with Peter Aerts.
Below is the complete press release:
“The Last Emperor,” Fedor Emelianenko (34-4) finally has an opponent for his highly-anticipated return to the sport of mixed martial arts. Former K-1 kickboxing champion, Jaideep Singh (2-0) will take on the Russian icon in the main event of the inaugural Rizin Words Fighting Grand-Prix. Spike will begin its three-hour coverage of this star-studded New Year’s Eve MMA event on Thursday, December 31 at a special time of 10:00am ET/PT.
Singh trains with four-time K-1 World Grand Prix champion Peter Aerts, and Rudimar Fedrigo, the founder and head trainer of famed Brazil-based MMA camp Chute Boxe that is responsible for spawning the careers of a host of retired and active world champions including Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, and Mauricio and Murilo “Ninja” Rua.
Recent additions to the card include:
The ever-popular American fighter Bob Sapp taking on Akebono Taro, the renowned former Sumo wrestler and MMA fighter under SHOOT boxing rules.
Bellator’s exciting welterweight contender Brennan Ward (12-3) looks for a fourth straight win against undefeated Ken Hasegawa (10-0-1) from Japan in a catchweight fight.
Bellator superstar King Mo (16-4) will be part of the eight-man heavyweight tournament that will begin on December 29. His opponent in the first round will be BAMMA vet Brett McDermott (5-2).
Other tournament fighters include Satoshi Ishii, Teodoras Aukstuolis, Bruno Cappelozza, Jiri Prochazka, Goran Reljic and Vadim Nemkov.
A battle of hard-hitting heavyweights as Bellator British slugger James “The Colossus” Thompson (20-15) takes on Tsuyoshi Kosaka (26-18-2), whose impressive resume includes bouts with Randy Couture, Fedor Emeliannko, and Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira.
A middleweight brawl between Bellator’s A.J. “The Mercenary” Matthews (8-3), looking for his third straight win, against fast-rising Russian fighter, Anatoly Tokov (21-1).
Emanating from the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo, Japan, the MMA mega-event marks the debut of a Rizin World Fighting, a new global MMA promotion run by former Pride Founder Nobuyuki Sakakibara. The Grand-Prix includes a tournament and fights on December 29 and December 31.
Spike will broadcast the December 31 card on a short delay in the morning (10:00am-1:00pm ET/PT) along with coverage of marquee fights and highlights from bouts fought on December 29.