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Scott Coker Says They Are “Closer Than Ever” On Re-Signing Fedor Emelianenko

Top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko’s future in the Strikeforce promotion has seemed like the movie “Groundhog Day,” where every week we hear over and over how the Russian phenom is close to fighting again with the organization.

“I’ve been back and forth, back and forth. The lawyers are going back and forth, back and forth. We’ve already been in touch with the State Department about calling the Kremlin and giving us a hand to finish this contract,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show this past Monday. “I think we might have to go through the government to get this thing done. In all seriousness, I think we’ll have something to announce here real soon.”

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 stated that he believes we’ll see him back in action early next year.

“All I can tell you is we’re closer than we’ve ever been,” said Coker. “I look forward to Fedor fighting. I believe he’ll be fighting in the first quarter of next year.”

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. Coker said that he’s open to signing a rematch between Emelianenko and Werdum, but that he would like to see Fedor fight more than just one more fight with Strikeforce.

“We would definitely fight him [with Werdum],” Coker said. “But if we have an opportunity to have that conversation [for more fights], why not have that conversation?”

Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.