Fedor Emelianenko announced less than one month ago his intention to return to the MMA fighting world, and he says it's imminent. He's also saying he's locked in talks to fight for the UFC.
The Russian believes that his fate will be concluded soon, but having turned down a multi-million dollar deal from the UFC in 2009 one can only wonder why the promotion would want the 38-year-old former PRIDE champion services now.
"Now this is being negotiated, in particular with the UFC, as well as some other promotions," said Fedor during a recent Q&A. "I think it will soon be finally determined."
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250 word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
"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 (and) check for myself."
If true, the talks would show a serious change of heart from both parties after the 2009 negotiations dramatically broke down, and Fedor Emelianenko's career took a massive decline, losing three out of his four fights at the now-defunt Strikeforce.
It's well-known amongst the MMA community that Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta flew to an island of Venezuela to meet with the heavyweight back in '09, and offered Emelianenko a huge amount of money, and an imminent title fight against then champion Brock Lesnar at the AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas.
No contract was agreed, and Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta flew back to the United States.
After leaving Strikeforce Fedor Emelianenko put together a three-fight win streak before retiring in 2012.
He took a greater interest in his political career, and became the minister of sport in the Russian government and was elected as the president of the Russian MMA union not long after.
He repeatedly denied rumours about returning to fight in MMA again, but in July 2015 he and his reps announced his return to the fighting world was not too far away.
"The desire to fight in my blood," Emelianenko said.
"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."
If this deal does happen, it will be a fight that many thought they would never see, but until then, Fedor is only talking and not fighting.