Russian heavyweight great Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko recently lost legitimately for the first time in his storied MMA career, succumbing to a first round triangle choke delivered by Fabricio Werdum earlier this summer. Now, Emelianenko is looking to get back in the win column and, according to his manager M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelstein, the stoic fighter will likely get his chance this New Year’s Eve.
Finkelstein told Fighters Only magazine that he and his client are most interested in a rematch with Werdum but since “Vai Cavallo” is injured and will be out until next year, the Russian fighter and his camp are looking to land a spot on a New Year’s Eve card that is likely to take place in Japan.
“We plan to organize an interim fight for Fedor,” said Finkelstein. “We are considering two options: Japan and Russia. We have a lucrative offer from the Japanese partners, who are interested in Fedor fighting on the New Year’s Eve. This is the most interesting option for us. But we are also not excluding an option that Fedor Emelianenko will fight in Russia, sometime in December.”
Finkelstein also revealed that, when Werdum does return to action, Emelianenko would like to fulfill the last fight on his Strikeforce contract by rematching the Brazilian jiu-jitsu expert.
“We have to organize another fight for Fedor, as Fabricio Werdum is currently injured and no one knows when he will come back,” said Finkelstein. “Strikeforce have absolutely nothing against the rematch, that’s exactly why we are planning the last fight on Fedor’s contract to be against Werdum.”
M-1 Global has earned a notorious reputation for being difficult to deal with and for using Emelianenko’s status as a world-beater to leverage unrealistic demands during contract negotiations. The truth in those allegations remains to be fully uncovered but Finkelstein did reiterate his desire to co-promote with any of the big fight promotions currently running, including the UFC.
“I’ll say it again, we are ready to organize co-promotion with any organization that is ready to meet our demands,” he said. “We have repeatedly expressed our desire to organize a joint show, even with the same UFC, but all in vain. We are ready to fight with the strongest and to co-operate with the worthy.”
Apparently, Finkelstein also told Fighters Only that besides Werdum, fights against Brock Lesnar and Randy Couture are intriguing to Emelianenko. Since both of those fighters are under contract with the UFC it will be interesting to see whether or not negotiations rekindle between M-1 Global and Dana White and Co.