Bloodyelbow.com are today reporting that the man once considered to be the greatest Mixed Martial Artist on the planet is on the comeback trail.
Fedor “The Last Emperor” Emelianenko has been out of MMA action since June of 2012, when he beat Brazilian Pedro Rizzo via first round knockout.
Now 38 years old, the Russian has released a statement in which he reveals that he has “recently started intensive training” in anticipation of a comeback bout.
The former Pride heavyweight champion’s intentions will undoubtedly begin a period of rampant speculation over where his new competitive home will be.
Fedor has famously never fought in the UFC, but this news is likely to fill fans with hope that he might be able to strike a deal with the world’s number one promotion.
Of course, there are other options.
Two of his final three bouts took place in M-1 Global, a Russian promotion with which he has strong ties. Stateside, there is also an interesting new avenue for Fedor. Bellator Fighting Championships have been going form strength to strength. The recent card, featuring Kimbo Slice vs Ken Shamrock, garnered record viewing numbers for the organisation.
According to the aforementioned statement, Fedor has already begun negotiations with a number of promotions.
The great Russian ended his storied career with a run of three consecutive victories, but he entered that stretch on the back of three losses. These three losses, coming to current UFC fighters Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson, all occurred in the United States. At the time Fedor was aligned with the now defunct Strikeforce organisation.
Given that his most recent exposure on American television involved a streak of defeats, many will wonder if Fedor’s name value is great enough for Dana White and the UFC to get involved. After all, outside the hardcore fans the amiable Fedor isn’t particularly well known.
If he can be brought into the fold, however, with a build up worthy of his legacy, and he can string together a few wins, there is a natural match-up available.
Fabricio Werdum is the man who handed Fedor his first loss in ten years, back in 2010. The Brazilian is currently the UFC heavyweight champion. A rematch between the two could be a monster event, if it were built correctly.
According to Fedor, during his absence from the sport he has been “able to recover and heal old injuries”, while still maintaining his conditioning.
If a refreshed, healthy and reinvigorated Fedor is back on the market, the organisation that snaps him up will have a real commodity on their hands.