Editor's Note (Sept. 19, 2015)
Despite numerous sources indicating that the news below was accurate, a deal between Emelianenko and the UFC collapsed before it was announced. The Russian finalized a deal with former Pride FC founder Nobuyuki Sakakibara to headline an event on New Year’s Eve in Japan.

“The Last Emperor” has finally found his new home.

Sources close to the situation have told Combat Press that Fedor Emelianenko has officially signed with the UFC, with an official announcement set to be made in the coming weeks. According to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Emelianenko is currently looking at options for his Octagon debut.

Although nothing has been confirmed as yet, a separate source indicated that there is a chance that Emelianenko will debut at UFC 193 in the co-main event for Melbourne’s first UFC visit. Although former K-1 champion Mark Hunt is already slated to compete in a rematch against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, “The Super Samoan” previously offered to welcome Emelianenko to the Octagon, and would be the likely opponent for Emelianenko if he fights in Melbourne. The event is headlined by a women’s bantamweight title bout between Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm. The event, which takes place from Etihad Stadium, is expected to break the company’s attendance records with ease.

Emelianenko last fought in 2012 when he defeated Pedro Rizzo in the first round. He later announced his retirement following that bout. The legendary heavyweight was widely considered to be the best fighter in the world during his prime in the Japanese-based Pride organization. The Russian fighter claimed Pride’s heavyweight title in 2003 with a win over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and never relinquished the belt, defeating the likes of Nogueira, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman and the aforementioned Hunt along the way. He continued his impressive run in Affliction, where he topped former UFC heavyweight champions Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski. Emelianenko’s aura of invincibility came to an end under the Strikeforce banner, where he went on a three-fight skid with losses to current UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, the aforementioned Bigfoot and Dan Henderson. The sambo specialist ended his career on a high note by compiling a three-fight winning streak that included knockouts of Satoshi Ishii and Rizzo.

About The Author

Lead Writer

Located in New South Wales, Australia Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and The MMA Corner. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore and his work has also appeared on news.com.au.

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  • RenegadeSphinx

    This is the best news I’ve heard in a while. I hope Fedor still has something left in the tank. After he beats Hunt again, I’d like to see him fight Mir.

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  • fact

    I love fedor and he is the GOAT but he fought so much in his life from mma to sambo that man is a beast but his body must be hurting….we will see//////

  • I’m an egg

    If it’s true I’ll be excited to watch him, but it just sucks it’s happening in the Twilight of his career.

    • J.D.

      He’s the same age as the current UFC heavyweight champion, Fabricio Werdum. Almost the same weight, same reach too, interestingly enough. Would be good to try and avenge his loss to Fabricio. But doubt he’d get a title shot that quickly.


    Too little too late, I know it’s hard for great athletes to walk away from their given sport but WHY? Did his so called partners rip him off and he needs the money, either way I see Fedor getting destroyed in his UFC debut and ultimately re-retires but with a very healthy payday!

    • J.D.

      I imagine it’s got a lot to do with promoting the UFC in Russia after signing the deal to show it on TV over there. Fedor would also be a huge draw card for an event in Russia. Wonder if he will debut at 193 or wait for an event in Russia?

    • ECassious2

      he won’t get destroyed. The HW division is thin of talent. A guy he knocked out cold is preparing for a title shot coming off a 5 fight win streak. It is a division ruled by men as old as him.


        Well I was being a little facetious but I think if he gets paired with anyone of recognition he’ll be beaten handily, and if he does, there’s no need to proceed. I absolutely agree that the hw division is thin but it’s also a very hard road once you get by a couple other hanger-ons who are contenders for the very same reason, THIN ON TALENT. I think a rematch with big foot would give him the best chance to see a second outing, but I bet everyone would be gunning to get that first shot at the Great Fedor. All depends on that first opponent, but I would love to see him win and win impressively and make things very interesting!

        • ECassious2

          Your analysis is very logical. History would tell us that comebacks in combat sports generally end badly. With this said, I am hoping it’s a George Foreman style comeback.


            Lol yeah, a big George comeback would be awesome!

      • Brandon Boggs

        The only fights Fedor lost were to steroid junkies. Let’s see him face clean fighters

        • J.D.

          Werdum’s a steroid junkie?

  • Jean Volant

    This as just been officially denied by his agent.

  • Www.

    Can see him getting ko’d off the mid tier heavyweights. Shoulda stayed retired I hope I’m wrong though.

    • Brandon Boggs

      You can see ANY fighter get knocked out by a Fedor bomb so you definitely could be wrong…

      • Www.

        Of course. I just think there’s more chance of him Being knocked out.

      • DollWatcher

        So Werdum’s on the juice huh? U have proof, or just suckin’ wind?

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  • Zillion Million

    Die Fedor die ufc sucks

    • Tyler Costa

      Totally uncalled for.

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  • Brandon Boggs

    I said it here and people that know Fedor and MMA know that Fedor lost those 3 fights in a row to steroid junkies. Take a look at Bigfoot Silva, his body turned skinny and flabby now that he’s off the dope. Werdum was on steroids when they fought and I believe he still is. Hendo, he was taking HGH bc he was old. Let’s see Fedor fight clean fighters and hopefully they will test them tough. It’s not fair when fighters HAVE to take steroids to compete with other junky fighters.

    • Alex S

      You’re right about Hendo and Bigfoot, but not Werdum. You can speculate all you want, but that doesn’t make it true. Also, he’s been declining since the Arlovski fight (struggled against him until KOing him, and likewise struggled against Brett Rogers until he KOed him).

      • Edson Valenzuela


      • Lucifer

        He was struggling since he left pride. He had turned into a brawler by the time he joined affliction. It was a testament to his un-godly punching power that he managed to keep beating top ten heavyweights that way. It finally took someone that wouldn’t stand with him to beat him.

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  • kostya morimoto

    Not official. I spoke with Fedor today. He wants werdum and Bigfoot and said Dana won’t give him that. Won’t sign unless its one or both.

    • J.D.

      Thanks, yeah, didn’t think he’d get a crack at Werdum that quickly.


      Bigfoot shouldn’t be a problem, but oh how times have changed, Fedor will be a big draw on his first outing but what have you done for us lately, beggars can’t be choosey! That once powerful negotiating position is all but gone with those 3 beatings in Strikeforce.

      • Deon

        Not true still the best.

  • John Tiller

    As much as Fedor dislikes women’s mma it’s funny that he’s second fiddle to Ronda

    • Frank Mesiti

      What, since a few days or months ago? The guy’s had his time in the limelight for a dozen years. We’ll see how long Rousey’s time lasts. Not taking anything away from her but she has the benefit of fighting women who are drawn from a tiny pool of available female fighters. If there were as many available female fighters in each weight division as there are men, she probably wouldn’t be that dominant. It’s common sense.

      • ajmagic

        Exactly , can’t take nothing away from Rousey, she can only fight what is on offer. Ironically this is the same situation as Fedor back in 2000 when MMA was new and in strikeforce who at the time had better HW then the UFC. So these same fools hating on Fedor who 1) started watching the UFC when Brook leaner or Kimbo sliced joined will be the same people trying to defend Rousey in 10 years to the MMA fans of tomw, because by then womens game and pool of fighter would have excelled a great deal.

        • Deon

          I don’t think that’s fair either because Fedor still fought strong fighters. He had to actually compete unlike Rousey who has no competition at all.

    • I guess, but Ronda is nowhere near the legend or legacy. she is not like fedor because she doesn’t face adversity in fights. it looks like she’s always in control and when Fedor fought he was a fair fights where it looked like he could lose and was able to get out. like in the Randleman fight or with Rogers or Hong man choi or Arlovski or Crocop or Nog or even Hunt and Fujita. These fights made his legacy. Ronda needs to face dominant fighters.

      • RenegadeSphinx

        Too bad Ronda is afraid of the one fighter that can actually cement her legacy – Cyborg.

  • Gaby Soto

    Until the announcement comes from the UFC I ain’t bitting!!!

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  • Sin Shiwei

    They will match him up against game but SLOW Soa Palelei a match-up which Fedor can use to destroy his 1st opponent to start up the hype train.

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  • oplix


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  • Terrible journalism

  • Jeffrey

    Was your source FrontRowBrian?