If Fedor Emelianenko still wants an immediate rematch with Fabricio Werdum, it looks like he’s going to have to wait until 2011 to get it. Werdum told Super Lutas (translated via MMA Mania) that he’s decided to have a lingering elbow injury operated on.

“Everything has changed for better for me. That was very important. I’ve gotten over 30 phone calls a day in my gym after the win, more students have come, the seminar value went up. It’s like at any other profession, a singer, soccer player, as you develop and get the spotlight the value changes. After the seminars I will undergo a surgery on my elbow that I have put off for some time. We’re in July and I only want to come back 100-percent recovered. I think it’s hard to make it back this year due the physical therapy, conditioning and all else. Then I might just get back next year.”

Werdum described the injury to PVT Magazine (page 33) as “tennis elbow.” He hasn’t been able to fully straighten his left arm in two years.

Now it’s time to take advantage of this, using this situation to intelligently promote my name. There are a few priorities at the moment. One of them is getting surgery on my arm, since I’m suffering from tennis elbow. This really gets in the way of my training, and if someone catches me in an armlock, it could get ugly, ’cause it hurts a lot. I’ll have to go under the knife, since I’ve already delayed it several times. I’ve been like this for two years, always saying I’d operate after each fight, but nothing. I feel that now is the time. I’m doing a series of seminars in Europe to enjoy the moment, and I’ll have surgery when I come back, already with my eye on the next fight.

Despite the news, M-1 Global’s Evgeni Kogan says the rematch is going to happen one way or another, whether it’s before the surgery or after it. But unless someone is willing give Werdum a good reason to put surgery off one more time, M-1 is going to have to decide whether they want to take a fight in the meantime, such as one against Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem, or put Fedor on the shelf until Werdum returns. Neither option is ideal for M-1.

Image via Esther Lin for Strikeforce/Showtime