Fedor Emelianenko is many fans choice as the greatest MMA fighter of all time. So when the Russian heavyweight announced he was returning to action last week — but didn’t offer any details about when and where — fans let their imaginations roam free.
Would we see Fedor return to Bellator CEO Scott Coker, with whom he enjoys a personal friendship, and a history with the Strikeforce promotion? Would we see — yes, wait for it — Fedor vs. Kimbo Slice?
Would we see Brock Lesnar return as well, and a meeting of perhaps the two biggest heavyweight stars in MMA history? Or perhaps, Randy Couture?
Would he go to the UFC — three years after retiring — and begin climbing the ladder in a new MMA era?
Or maybe… a wild card? Fedor vs. Brandon Vera in ONE Championship?
One of Bellator’s biggest stars, Tito Ortiz, thinks Fedor is indeed on the way — and wants the chance to face the legend.
“I think Fedor is signing with Bellator, and if he can get down to 205 I would love to fight him,” Ortiz said to Submission Radio. “I’ve always fought at 205, I will always fight at 205 because I know I’m in great shape when I fight at 205, but if Bellator could put that together; wow, can you imagine after I beat McGeary, me and Fedor for the light heavyweight title? That’d be amazing.”
Ortiz also said he would be open to face Fedor at a catch-weight, but he didn’t specify.
Yesterday, Fedor’s former manager Vadim Finkelchtein, who is a promoter for the Russian M-1 promotion, appeared on The MMA Hour and said that Fedor is entertaining several options — including the UFC.
“Fedor is a free agent,” Finkelchtein said (with the help of a translator). “He’s absolutely interested in fighting in the UFC. It all depends on the deal. I promote for the largest European organization, M-1 and of course I’d love to have him fight there at least once.”
Finkelchtein said that there’s no talk of co-promotion, which was a sticking point in Fedor’s earlier negotiations with UFC.