Fedor’s opponent undecided as Tsuyoshi Kosaka gets fight at Rizin FF

With little more than a month to go before his return to MMA takes place on December 31st at the Saitama Super Arena, Fedor…

By: Karim Zidan | 8 years ago
Fedor’s opponent undecided as Tsuyoshi Kosaka gets fight at Rizin FF
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

With little more than a month to go before his return to MMA takes place on December 31st at the Saitama Super Arena, Fedor Emelianenko is still without an official opponent.

According to sources close to Bas Rutten and Inside MMA, Fedor’s opponent was supposed to be Tsuyoshi Kosaka, who he faced in Pride nearly a decade ago. However, Kosaka appeared at a Rizin FF press conference this week alongside Nobuyuki Sakakibara to announce a fight against James Thompson.

“I have decided to make my comeback at RIZIN after 10 years,” Kosaka said at the press conference. “I have been thinking about how a ‘fighter’ lives after he retires, and kept training and practicing every day. I just couldn’t give up ‘Fighting.’ That was my answer and the main reason why I decided to come back.

“It’s not a decision I made recently, I have had this idea since last October. At that timing I had a chance to meet with Mr. Sakakibara, and I felt that this was some kind of guidance. It is an honor for me to participate in RIZIN. I would like to show my way of a Fighter.”

The promotion also announced a match-up between Russian prospect Anatoly Tokov and AJ Matthews before Sakakibara revealed the dates of each contest. The Dec. 29 show will consist of the five fights in the first round of the tournament. They will include the reserve fight, Kazushi Sakuraba vs Shinya Aoki, Yuki Motoya vs Nam Jin Jo, AJ Matthews vs Anatoly Tokov, and Tsuyoshi Kosaka vs James Thompson.

The Dec. 31 show will consist of the semi-finals and finals of the tournament, Fedor Emelianenko long awaited return, Kaido Hooverson, Gabi Garcia vs Lei’D Tapa, RENA vs Jleana Valentino.

The promotion added that Fedor’s opponent would be announced in the near future.

Share this story

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.

More from the author

Related Stories