Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko could be edging closer and closer (finally!) to a deal with the UFC. He is set to face former UFC fighter Fabio Maldonado at EFN 50 this Friday, with the fight being broadcast on UFC Fight Pass.
Now the former Pride heavyweight champion has confirmed his latest career move is just the start of further negotiations with MMA’s top promotion.
“I always wanted to fight for UFC and I would fight for UFC, but at this moment we’re looking at the deal and the deal has to satisfy both parties – them and my organization,” Emelianenko said via a translator on The MMA Hour. “Until there’s no friction, until we are 100% in terms of seeing eye-to-eye, we are all basically in limbo.”
“Right now, I’m much closer (to joining the UFC) compared to when I just came back to MMA,” he added. “Yes, we did receive an offer. But there are some finer points that we wanted to discuss.”
Of course, Fedor isn’t the only heavyweight making waves in UFC-related headlines. Former heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar caused a splash recently when his comeback was confirmed for UFC 200, where he will be facing Mark Hunt in the co-main event. Once was a time when a Fedor vs. Lesnar clash was MMA’s most wanted fantasy fight. Although both men may be a few years passed their prime, it looks like it’s something that could be back on the table.
“All I wanted to say is for now we never received a proposal like that,” Emelianenko said. “But if somebody were to make that proposal, we’ll definitely look at it closely.”
Lesnar is currently only signed to a one-fight deal with the UFC, while also being under contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and is scheduled to appear on WWE’s SummerSlam pay-per-view in August. However, with the right money and marketing, there’s every possibility that the UFC and WWE could come to another agreement and make Fedor vs. Lesnar happen.