On Tuesday rumors surfaced that the greatest heavyweight in mixed martial arts history, The Last Emperor, Fedor Emelianko was returning. Now it was been confirmed, by Fedor’s longtime manager, M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelchtein.
“It was unexpected,” said Vadim to Karim Zidan for BloodyElbow.com. “I was trying to convince Fedor to come back for about year or two, but then gave up this idea. And about a week or two ago he told me he is thinking about coming back to sport. I am happy about that.”
“I am ready to help him anyway I can. I see that he is mentally ready. All he needs is to train hard. He remained in good shape all those years but it will still take some time to be ready to fight.”
“There is no information about time and place of his first fight for now. And there is no information about possible opponent. But I am sure he is able to fight any Top 10 world heavyweight.”
UGer also brought to our attention that Vadim told a Russian news site he wants the first figth to be in Russia.
Q: Fedor told about his negotiations with MMA promotions. Is ?-1 one of them and what conditions can you offer for Fedor?
Vadim: I would like Fedor to fight for us but I’m not sure it’s possible. It would be great to have first Fedor’s fight in Russia, for his fans. But then I want him to compete abroad – in US, Japan…
Read entire interview… (original Russian)
Finkelchtein then released a comprehensive Q&A.
Q: Was you surprised when you heard about Fedor returning to professional fighting?
Vadim Finkelchtein: Well, yes. I was surprised. I lost the hope to make him back after one or two years of negotiations. I just couldn’t make it. One time he asked me not to talk about this any more. But about a week ago he told me that he might have come back. I couldn’t believe what I heard. I was happy to hear that. But the real decision he made only couple of days ago.
Q: Will Fedor continue his work in Russian MMA Union?
VF: Yes, sure. Fighting wouldn’t become a distraction from his post of the President of MMA Federation.
Q: What did Fedor Emelianenko told you about his possible match-ups and opponents?
VF: There’s no certain information yet. The only thing he told me – is that he needed to prepare well enough, to become as dangerous as he used to be. Mentally he is ready to fight, his attitude to fighting is great. I think he has all chances to show the best version of himself.
Q: What do you think about his next fight? When will we see it?
VF: I can’t tell you exactly for now. I would like him to make his first fight in Russia, of course. But this is all up to him after all. But it would be great if he makes it for his Russian fans at first. They would be happy.
Q: Will you make the third M-1 Global event with Fedor in the headline?
VF: I’d like it of course. It would be awesome to make a show in “Olimpiyskiy” as we did when he was leaving. That show gathered 22,000 spectators. That was a great present for all his fans. And then he would go abroad. This is of course, only my desire for now. I will work on it. Maybe we will make it.
Q: Who do you see as his next opponent?
VF: I think any of M-1 heavyweights would accept this fight. Actually he can face any TOP heavyweight from all over the World.
Q: How long Fedor is able to fight, at your opinion?
VF: I think couple of years easily.