In the past few years, we’ve had to wait ridiculously long periods of time to see Fedor Emelianenko fight again, large in part due to his management group’s desire to constantly renegotiate. Well, according to Scott Coker, we won’t have to wait too much longer this time. He believes Fedor will be back in the cage as soon as July.
“Fedor’s gonna fight sometime in July. It’s probably toward the end of July or mid-July, but we have fights with Fedor that we’re gonna honor and continue forward. We’re gonna do the co-branding exercise that we do with M-1 every time we do fights with them.”
As for who Fedor’s going to fight, Coker didn’t know, but hinted that it would be someone that would keep him close to the heavyweight tournament.
“The opponent has not been chosen, but I think having Fedor involved close to the tournament as an alternate is definitely a possibility.”
“You gotta perform. I think he did a good job against Silva, and that worked out the way he did, but he’s still a competitive fighter that can compete at the highest level on any given Saturday night. I think this next one’s gonna be very important. He’s gonna have to perform.”
Fedor vs. Shane del Rosario? Valentijn Overeem? Chad Griggs? Who knows, but it’s probably going to be one of those three considering that every other top heavyweight in Strikeforce besides Andrei Arlovski is tied up with the tournament. I suppose Arlovski could be a candidate, but really, if he’s going to keep fighting, can Strikeforce please match him up with someone who isn’t going to give him more brain damage? A quick trip back to 2009 reminds us that Fedor is not someone Arlovski needs to be trading punches with.
Update: Fedor spoke about his summer fight and training camp in an interview at the premiere for “The Salamander Key”, a movie he filmed in 2008. Translation via LowKick.com:
“This Sunday I’ll fly out to Holland to have a two-week training camp. Then, I’ll return back home to Stariy Oskol to continue my preparations. I’m going to fight this summer. I still don’t know who will be my opponent, but it’s something currently in works. I didn’t train abroad since 2005. We have a really good relationship with Muay Thai coaches in Holland, so I’m really looking forward to this training camp.
I would like to thank everyone for their support. But at the end it’s God’s will, and we have to accept it as it is. I will continue to compete, train hard and do everything in my power to get a victory. Reporter: You are not retiring? Fedor: No way.”
Regarding Fedor’s opponent, Scott Coker downplayed the possibility of Dan Henderson facing Fedor this summer as many suggested following Hendo’s win over Feijao.