Fedor Emelianenko: Which Promotion Will 'the Last Emperor' Fight for Next?

Jason Schielke@jasonschielkeCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2011

Emelianenko Fedor, the Winner of the PRIDE Heavy Weight Title Match (Photo by Tomokazu Tazawa/Getty Images)
Tomokazu Tazawa/Getty Images

Last Saturday night, Fedor Emelianenko was handed yet another defeat when Dan Henderson scored a TKO victory as time was running down to end the first round.

This marked Emelianenko's third straight defeat after going undefeated over a span of nine years and 28 fights. 

It was reported on Thursday by MMAWeekly.com that Dana White had released Emelianenko from Strikeforce. White confirmed this by stating "Yeah, he's being cut. You guys thought he was the pound-for-pound best in the world; I said he was overrated for years."

Now that Emelianenko has been released by the biggest mixed martial arts conglomerate in the world, where can he go from here?

It is pretty obvious that White wants nothing to do with Fedor in either Strikeforce or the UFC. Bellator, the distant No. 3 promotion in America, more than likely does not have the resources to bring Emelianenko to their brand.

Therefore, one would have to believe that his fighting outlets in the United States have been exhausted at this point. 

Fedor has been a huge superstar in Japan dating back to his days in Pride FC. If there is one place Emelianenko could go, it would be the land of the rising sun.

However, the financial state of Japanese MMA, most notably DREAM, has been under question for some time now. There have been many stories of fighters not getting paid and in the case of Bob Sapp, accusations of last-minute contract re-negotiating. 

FEG, parent company of DREAM, recently sold nearly all the rights of K-1 to Barbizon, a Japanese real estate firm. DREAM has yet to hold an event since the deal was made, so it is still unknown if unpaid purses will still plague the promotion.

Fedor commands large paydays, so unless the money was put up well in advance, it would be difficult to see M-1 Global making that move on behalf of their fighter.

The wild-card promotion that could come in to play and might have the best chance of securing Fedor's services should he choose to fight on, would be UK based BAMMA.

Although he is fresh on the free-agent market, BAMMA has already shown interest in former Strikeforce and current DREAM heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem via their Twitter account:

@Alistairovereem would make a very appreciated addition to the @BAMMAUK HW DIVISION and could handily get the vacant HW TITLE

If, and that is a big if, BAMMA could some how sign Alistair Overeem and Fedor, they could put on the biggest heavyweight MMA bout not involving a fighter currently under contract with Zuffa.

As they continue their climb to be the premier European MMA promotion, this could be a fight that would firmly cement them in to that spot.

In all reality, the odds of BAMMA being able to acquire both fighters seems highly unlikely. But given both fighter's current situations, don't be surprised if talks of it happening begin to fly around in the near future. 


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