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Fedor Emelianenko’s next fight could take place in Japan in July or August

Tokyo, Japan — During his reign as PRIDE heavyweight champion, Fedor Emelianenko was one of Japan’s most recognizable fighters. However, Wednesday’s exhibition vs. WAMMA lightweight champion Shinya Aoki during the M-1 Challenge’s Tokyo event will be the first time he has competed in the country since a first round submission victory over Hong Man Choi on New Year’s Eve 2007 during the one-off “Yarrenoka!!” event.

While many members of the Japanese media were intrigued by Fedor’s upcoming special grappling exhition vs. Aoki, one reporter asked the current WAMMA heavyweight champion what his plans were regarding his next sanctioned MMA fight.

When posed the question during a Tuesday press conference at the 21 East Hotel in Tokyo, Emelianenko quickly referred the question to his manager Vadim Finkelchtein.

While Finkelchtein was careful to indicate that nothing has been finalized, he did reveal that talks are currently taking place regarding Emelianenko fighting “an opponent ranked in the top ten” sometime in July or August. Finkelchtein also seemed rather certain that the event would take place in Japan.

Seated next to Finkelchtein on the dais was Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio, who also appeared in St. Petersburg, Russia during last weekend’s M-1 Selection event, a year-long team competition featuring fight gyms in Russia competing for the opportunity to represent their home country during the 2010 M-1 Challenge.

Emelianenko is still under contract to Affliction for one more fight, and while Atencio offered no hints regarding a third Affliction event, speculation was running rampant at the press conference that Affliction could look to partner with M-1 and DREAM in regards to a possible July or August event in Japan.

  • kidneybeans says:

    Say what you want about Affliction, at least they are willing to work with other people and try to put on the best fights possible. I would love to see a cross-promotional event involving DREAM , Affliction, and M-1.

  • TheLevi75 says:

    With Barnett declining to fight Fedor,there isn’t a whole lot of options.I don’t think that Monsoon is worthy of a shot at Fedor,and Overeem’s next fight is rumored to be against the Grim Brett Rogers.Werdum is another fighter who is close but still not worthy of a fight against the LastEmperor.

  • revjames13 says:

    Any thoughts on the current HW top ten? I’ll give it a crack.

    1. Fedor
    2. Frank Mir
    3. Josh Barnett
    4. Brock Lesnar
    5. Andre Arlovski
    6. Shawn Carwin
    7. Big Nog
    8. Randy Couture
    9. Gonzaga
    10. Cain Valasquez

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    I would be happy if it was Crocop, Barnett, Overeem, Arlovski, Kharitonov, Monson, Sylvia, Werdum. It is a shame it couldn’t be Mir, Randy or Lesnar. The UFC may be more popular but it cannot offer match ups like these org’s combined. Start trading outside the UFC Dana or you will be left behind.

    As for revjames…If Carwin was to fight any of the other fighters on your list I would put money on them, that includes a rematch with Gonzaga (who shouldn’t be on your list either). Randy is 2 wins 3 losses over the last 7 or 8 years at HW too. You rate Valasquez above the likes of Monson, Aleksander, Overeem, Sylvia why?…potential?. I hope he lives up to expectations.
    Tim Sylvia lost 5 fights ever! 1 to Arlovski who he beat 2 times afterwards, 1 to Frank Mir (no shame in that), 1 to Randy Couture (a man capable of beating anyone on his day), 1 to both Nog and Fedor who are probably the 2 best HW fighters ever to fight (he was destroying Nog until he got caught, if he survived that rd it would have been at least 30-27 Sylvia). So why do people say he is no longer a top 10?. He has only lost to the very best there is. Couture is 16-9 and has never fought the class of Fedor, Nog, Mir, Arlovski or Monson for that matter, his most impressive victory at HW was that over Sylvia.

  • revjames13 says:

    You make a good point for Silvia replacing Cain in the top 10. Gonzaga, who seems to have all the potential in the world, looks a little debatable as well.

    But Couture and Nog deserve to be there. They are both only one fight from having had the belt and their legend status affords them a certain place until it’s proved without a doubt that they no longer belong there. Couture may have a lot of losses on his record, but he is a three time Champ who has beaten Gonzaga and Silvia pretty recently and has wins over future Hall of Famers Pedro Rizzo and Maurice Smith. He is a small HW, though, so he’s always gonna have his hands full.

    No way on Monson, though. He just “lost” his last fight to Nelson in my opinion. That was a terrible decision. Dos Santos might deserve a spot.

    Carwin is top 10 by virtue of being undefeated and KOing Gonzaga in his last outing. He is still a bit of a question mark, but as one of the biggest HW’s out there, and one who trains with a great team. you’ve got to see him as a threat to anyone on the list except Fedor.


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