After six months of negotiations it looks like Fedor Emeliannenko may finally have his next fight lined up in Strikeforce. According to MMA Weekly, a once-rumored fight between The Last Emperor and Antonio Silva is in the works for Strikeforce’s Jan. 29 event.
It appears Fedor Emelianenko and M-1 Global have come to an agreement to return to the Strikeforce cage, and the former top heavyweight is in discussions to meet Antonio Silva on the Jan 29 card.
Sources close to the negotiations informed MMAWeekly.com that the fight is in the works for the 2011 card, with Fedor returning to action for the first time since his loss to Fabricio Werdum in June.
While it would have been foolish to expect Fedor to fight Alistair Overeem or Fabricio Werdum in January when they’ve previously said they wouldn’t be available to Strikeforce until the Spring, Fedor vs. Silva still feels rather underwhelming after watching Silva struggle early against Mike Kyle. Josh Barnett probably would have been the next best option behind Overeem and Werdum, but he still hasn’t got re-licensed in California and won’t until February at the earliest. That pretty much leaves Silva.
What’s unclear is whether this fight will be the last on his current Strikeforce contract or the first on an extension that M-1 has been negotiating with Showtime since the summer.
Fedor-Silva isn’t the only Strikeforce fight that was revealed this past week though. Essentially confirming that a grudge match between Nick Diaz and Jason “Mayhem” Miller won’t be happening anytime soon, MMA Junkie reported yesterday that Mayhem vs. Tim Kennedy III is in the works for the Jan. 29 card as well.
Update: Surprise! Fedor-Silva isn’t so certain for Jan. 29 as initially believed. It all depends on “where negotiations take us” says Strikeforce’s Mike Afromowitz.
And while a matchup between Emelianenko and Strikeforce heavyweight Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva is possible, a Strikeforce official today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) a date is not set.
“It all depends where these negotiations take us,” Strikeforce spokesperson Mike Afromowitz said.
“We are really hoping that we can finalise things as soon as possible,” M-1 representative Evgeni Kogan told MMAjunkie.com. “We have been steadily working toward an agreement. And I think we are closer to it now than we have been in the past.”
Kogan added that Jan. 29 is “not on the table,” though he declined to discuss further details of negotiations.
Afromowitz added that it’s “possible” Fedor and Silva could meet in February as part of a planned heavyweight tournament, but considering hardly anything ever seems to work out as planned in Strikeforce, I won’t be holding my breath.
Update 2: Fedor has been officially ruled out for Strikeforce’s Jan. 29 card.