Despite rumors indicating that an announcement would be made concerning top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko’s future in the Strikeforce promotion over the weekend, no official statement has been made giving a clear picture of Emelianenko’s next step.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker did speak with MMAJunkie.com in regards to the issue, but was unable to do much more than hopefully speculate as to Emelianenko’s status with the promotion.
“I think we’re moving in the right direction,” Coker said. “It sounds like it’s getting very close.”
Emelianenko has long been considered one of best fighters competing in mixed martial arts, if not the best altogether, and his acquisition was seen as a big feather in the cap of the Strikeforce promotion. “The Last Emperor” was defeated for what many consider to be the first legitimate time in his career this past June though, and has been in contractual limbo with the promotion since.
Rumors have emerged that Emelianenko, who has one fight left on his Strikeforce contract, was considering shifting his focus from fighting to politics and that his time in the sport may have grown drastically short. Emelianenko himself has recently indicated that he has no plans to retire in the immediate future and Coker told MMAJunkie.com that the hang ups experienced during contractual negotiations are due not to Fedor, but to his notoriously difficult management team M-1 Global.
“Fedor has never been the issue,” he said. “But we don’t talk to Fedor. We’re talking to M-1, and it’s an ongoing process.”
Emelianenko last appeared in action at Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum this past June 26th where he submitted with a first round triangle choke by Fabricio Werdum. He has expressed interest in rematching Werdum, but it is unclear as to who he will face when he makes his eventual return.