Fedor Emelianenko’s next fight takes place under the Fight Nights banner in Russia on June 17, where he will take on UFC vet Fabio Maldonado. After that fight, Emelianenko believes the UFC may be next.
During a press conference in Russia for the June 17 event, Emelianenko said talks are already ongoing with the UFC, and his comments suggest he’s as close as he’s ever been to actually signing with the organization.
“We are continuing to negotiate with the UFC,” Fedor said to sovsports.ru (translated by Karim Zidan at BloodyElbow.com).”We did not put a cross on the organization. The probability is very high [that I will fight there].”
“The Last Emperor” returned to MMA in December after three years out of the sport, defeating Jaideep Singh under the Rizin Fighting Federation banner.
Penick’s Analysis: I don’t know how much stock to put into anything Fedor claims regarding the UFC right now, but if he’s in a spot to accept a reasonable offer from the UFC, this could actually happen this time. He’s got the Maldonado fight first, of course, but I could see the UFC booking the Fabricio Werdum rematch sometime in the fall if they can come to terms.
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