Russian MMA great Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko was recently on the losing end of one of the greatest upsets in MMA’s short history. Emelianenko was submitted this past June by Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert Fabricio Werdum at Strikeforce: Fedor Vs. Werdum in the first round of their proposed three round bout via triangle choke. “The Last Emperor’s” future has been called in to question lately largely due to comments that he made about retirement that may or may not have been taken out of context. Regardless, it appears as though Emelianenko is not considering retirement as an option anytime soon and may actually be looking to step into the cage at least 4 to 6 more times before calling it quits.
“For now (we) M-1 Global works with Strikeforce and we are concentrating on that – the contract is not over yet. So for now we don’t have any interest in the UFC,” said Emelianenko during a M-1 Global press conference. “So far I feel very comfortable fighting…very good with my fighting…and I’m planning of fighting as long as I can physically. As far and I’m concerned we should discuss the possibility of signing another contract for 4-6 fights.”
Many believe that Emelianenko’s absence from the UFC not only hurts his legacy but represents a gaping hole in the UFC’s heavyweight division. The Russian’s management company, M-1 Global, and the UFC have attempted to reach agreements on more than once occasion but have been unable to do so; a fact that many attribute to M-1 Globabl’s reputation of being notoriously difficult to deal with.
Emelianenko was expected to defeat Werdum and challenge Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem for his title but after “Vai Cavallo” threw a wrench into those plans it is unclear against whom or when Emelianenko will next appear.