“[Fedor’s] usually – internally as well as to the media – pretty quiet on that kind of stuff… Once he makes a decision about things, he lets Vadim (Finkelchtein, his manager and M-1 Global co-owner) know, and than it goes through the rest of the team. But he’s very much the guy that makes the decisions, and on this one, I have to say that I just simply don’t know… I think we as an organization have been growing this year and doing stuff in the U.S. and Russia, so hopefully there’s been a little bit of a split, both in the eyes of the media and the fans, between the M-1 entity which has traditionally been seen as Fedor’s management, and the M-1 entity which is the MMA promotion company. So officially, M-1 doesn’t have a position on the fight on Saturday… Everyone eventually loses, and what happens now is up to him. [Emelianenko] is still one of the best fighters, and I think he could come back and he could beat really good people and be at the top of the sport again. It could happen. Whether or not it does happen, only he and his family know that. Sometime reasonably soon within the next couple of months, the rest of the world will know what his plans are, too… If he decides to continue, then I’ll be supporting him as a fan, first and foremost.”

— M-1’s Evgeni Kogan telling MMA Junkie that Fedor Emelianenko’s future is entirely up to him

It’s almost surreal to say, but Fedor Emelianenko has now lost three fights in a row to three very different opponents in three very different ways. There’s no denying that he’s not the indestructible force he once was. Only Fedor can answer whether that means his career is over or not, but if he continues to fight and I think he will, the big question will be where.

It was the last fight on his contract and while Scott Coker specifically said that he’d like to have Fedor back in Strikeforce, Coker now answers to Zuffa and we all know how turbulent their relationship with M-1 has been. It will be a cold day in hell when they agree to give M-1 Global more co-promotional rights and oodles of cash to get a 1-3 SF Fedor back in the cage. I’m sure there’s a deal to be made, but it would require M-1 to concede a lot. They weren’t willing to do it before, but maybe a three-fight losing streak and a shrinking list of options will finally change their minds.

Image via Esther Lin for Strikeforce/Showtime