Late last month, mixed martial arts legend Fedor Emelianenko picked up his first win since 2009, beating fellow veteran Jeff Monson via unanimous decision on native soil in Moscow, Russia. The victory is hardly a career highlight for The Last Emperor, but it’s significant in that it snapped a three-fight losing streak that saw the Russian go from being heralded as the best pound-for-pound to being widely written off as a relevant heavyweight competitor.
This has been much to the delight of UFC president Dana White who, while not necessarily holding a grudge against Emelianenko himself, has long had bad blood with his management team, M-1 Global. The UFC has negotiated with M-1 more than once in the past and have never been able to come to terms, largely because of M-1’s insistence on co-promotion. Despite the friction that exists between M-1 and the UFC, Emelianenko recently told news.sportbox.ru (props to MMAMania for the translation) that he’s interested in competing in the UFC.
“I compete on international level, in MMA and Combat Sambo and I represent my country. And I think there can’t be better stimulus. It’s about titles. Of course I would like in UFC too, but to this day, all the times we had negotiations with them.. possibly they have allergy on me (laughs) and for some reason we can’t make an agreement now,” Emelianenko said. “Vadim met them, but for example if we had some agreement in talk, the contract that they sent then were different. But I have a desire to compete in UFC.”
Emelianenko is 32-4 in his career, with his only legitimate losses coming over the past year and in succession to Fabricio Werdum (first-round submission), Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (second-round TKO) and Dan Henderson (first-round TKO). The 35-year-old suffered all three of those defeats under the Strikeforce banner and was cut from the Zuffa-owned promotion following the loss to Henderson.