Fedor reveals UFC negotiations in process, wants ‘strongest fighters in the world’

Fedor Emelianenko's return to MMA has caused frenzy amongst fans and pundits as they attempted to decipher the Russian heavyweight legend's reasons for returning…

By: Karim Zidan | 8 years ago
Fedor reveals UFC negotiations in process, wants ‘strongest fighters in the world’
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Fedor Emelianenko’s return to MMA has caused frenzy amongst fans and pundits as they attempted to decipher the Russian heavyweight legend’s reasons for returning to professional MMA. Some wondered whether it was a financial necessity, while other pondered whether the ‘Last Emperor’ was just not ready to remain retired for the rest of his life.

During a Q&A session at a youth forum in the North Caucasus, where he was an honoured guest, Fedor revealed the reasons for his return, as well as whom he consulted with prior to finalizing his decision.

“The desire to fight in my blood,” Fedor responded when asked about his return. “I’m in the sport for 11 years – my whole life is training and competition. Over the years, there has been a thirst not only to participate in battles, but also to transfer their knowledge and skills. After consulting with trainers, with the support of the family, I decided to return.

“I must admit that I still had a long talk with my wife to get her support. But I found the words and persuaded Xenia. It generally supports me in every endeavor. And my mother … my mother is very worried. Immediately I call, she learned. But in the end, too, I took my decision.”

The former Pride FC heavyweight champion also noted that multiple promotions have bid for his services and that negotiations are underway with the UFC, as well as several other North American and Japanese promotions.

“Now this is being negotiated, in particular with the UFC, as well as some other promotions. I think it will soon be finally determined. As for the opponent, I would say that desire must comply opportunities. I would like to face the strongest fighters in the world – UFC champion Fabricio Werdum. Given that over three years, I did not fight during the first fight I would like to get involved, check for myself.

“So now I’ll regain my shape after returning from “Mashuk” [youth forum] and will then begin a scheduled training camp.”

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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