PRIDE FC legend Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko’s future has been up in the air ever since his shocking upset loss at the hands (or, more accurately, legs) of Fabricio Werdum this past June. Emelianenko and his management company M-1 Global entered into contract negotiations with Strikeforce shortly after the loss, and reports emerged during the lengthy negotiations (still ongoing) that Emelianenko was considering retirement to embark on a career in politics.
It seems now that Emelianenko is intent on returning to the cage, though M-1 Global is still engaged in talks with Strikeforce to determine the next move for the enigmatic Russian fighter. Rumors have swirled concerning Emelianenko’s next opponent, and the name that has been mentioned most by his camp has been Fabricio Werdum; as Emelianenko desires a chance to avenge his loss. Speaking with Aaron Tru from MMA Prime, Werdum indicated that he would rather have a tune-up fight before facing Emelianenko again considering his injury-induced layoff.
Emelianenko’s manager, Vadim Finkelstein, spoke with LowKick.com in response to Werdum’s comments and expressed a similar sentiment in regards to Emelianenko.
“We are also looking for one fight before we’d like the re-match with Werdum,” Finkelstein said. “However, the rematch is extremely important for us; Fedor should have a chance to avenge his loss.”
Though his future remains unclear, Emelianenko will likely return to action under the Strikeforce banner. However, considering the nature of M-1 Global’s past negotiations with the UFC, it seems that nothing can be assumed of Emelianenko’s future until the word has been set in stone.