Fedor Emelianenko is many a fan’s choice for the “Greatest of All Time.” Not just the greatest heavyweight — but the one and only greatest.
The man they call “The Last Emperor” followed up a career as a world-level SAMBO player and judoka to enjoy one of the greatest careers in MMA history. That career was highlighted by a 27 fight unbeaten streak between 2001 and 2009, where he won the PRIDE FC heavyweight title during the heyday of Japanese MMA. Later, he won bouts for Strikeforce and Affliction MMA, in events co-promoted by M-1 Global.
But a string of losses followed, and in 2012, following a win over former UFC title challenger Pedro Rizzo, the legend said he was hanging up his gloves for good.
As in the case of all good things, it seemed Fedor’s fighting career had come to an end.
Until today, that is.
Fedor Emelianenko announced today, via the M-1 Global Facebook page, that he will return to the rings and cages soon.
His statement in full is below:
“It’s extremely important for any athlete to do what you love, to work out on training sessions, to prove yourself on the competitions, representing your Motherland, – told Fedor in his statement to the Union MMA of Russia, – For the time that I’ve been working for the Ministry of Sport I managed to give my contribution into development of martial arts, I cooperated with the sports federations, learnt the problems of our sport and tried to solve them as good as I could. Now I feel that it’s a high time to get back in action”.
“I managed to recover and heal the old injuries. For the last 3 years I was maintaining my physical shape, but that’s still not enough to compete at proper level. Therefore I started to do more intensive trainings recently. We got a team of versatile professionals and athletes, who will help me to prepare myself well enough. I will also try to help other fighters to grow as professionals. I have to do a great job to prepare myself to return in fighting. Now we are in the middle of negotiations between the promotion companies. Once agreements are reached, there will be information on the date of the fight and my opponent”.