With the demise of Affliction’s MMA event efforts and return to the UFC as a sponsor, fans wonder most about one thing. In the wake of combat legend Fedor Emelianenko finding himself unemployed and without a venue to fight on, the vast hoardes of enthusiasts across the globe (myself included) clamor for potential news of The Last Emperor signing on the UFC’s dotted line.
It’s no secret that Fedor reigns supreme in topping many well-respected pound-for-pound fighter rankings, and for good reason. In an already historic career, Emelinenko has put together a near flawless record at 30-1 (Dec. 2000 TKO loss due to cut against Tsuyoshi Kohsaka) but taken on increased criticism as of late for not fighting the best in the world on MMA’s biggest stage.
The time has come for Fedor to join the UFC, and quotables delivered by all involved parties strongly suggest everyone is aware the moment of truth has arrived.
The following five points are the ones we can take to heart when pondering the Russian robot’s next move.
– Little wiggle room is left at this point. DREAM and Sengoku are the only other viable options outside of fighting in the UFC, but both would be a step back in time as Fedor has already cemented his legacy in Japan.
– The pay would monstrous in the UFC, and money talks.
– Fedor would expose himself to a basically untapped fan base. Sure many Americans like myself know of and cheer for the man, but mainstream newcomers are fresh in the sport and would help strengthen Fedor’s brand.
– There are quite simply many intriguing match-ups awaiting Fedor inside the Octagon. Couture, Lesnar, Nogueira come to mind when just naming a few potential blockbuster match-ups.
– MMA is growing at a rapid rate in the US while Japan continues to struggle with keeping up attendance and television ratings. The Land of the Rising Sun is no longer the market is was in PRIDE times.