Maybe it is all just talk to try and secure a large contract, but former heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko seems to understand that he needs to compete in the UFC if he wants to face the best. “The Last Emperor” got himself back on track with a pair of wins, but they have come over inferior competition.
“I can tell you the timing of my next bout right now. It’s going to be in June or July,” said Emelianenko, in a recent interview with Sportbox.ru. “Of course, I want to compete at home, in front of my countryman. But at the moment, the strongest and most respected MMA organization is situated in America. It’s the UFC. Therefore, I have to go to the U.S. in order to face the strongest opponents.”
Many reports have circulated with Fedor meeting former UFC champion Cain Velasquez or Josh Barnett. The Barnett fight, however, doesn’t seem to interest him.
“I really sympathize with Josh, and we’ve been friends for a long time,” Emelianenko said. “Perhaps, he is the only fighter whom I wouldn’t want to meet in the ring.”
Fedor and Barnett were previously scheduled to face off several years ago, but Barnett failed his pre-fight drug test and was unable to get cleared. It remains doubtful that Emelianenko will ever sign a contract with the UFC.