Since Emelianenko announced he was coming out of retirement to fight again, the internet’s been ablaze with speculation, as to whether the former PRIDE champ could finally sign with the UFC. Fedor’s return fight took place at RIZIN’s New Year’s Eve show, and he took out Jaideep Singh. Although the Russian star said he likely would fight for RIZIN again, he continues to say the UFC remains an option…Sure, feel free to roll your eyes.
Well, more recently it’s been reported that Emelianenko’s next bout will be against UFC vet Fabio Maldonado, and that it will take place on a jointly promoted RIZIN – Fight Nights card, June 17th. That decision, has apparently surprised Oleinik, as he recently told Sports – Express the following (quotes via Bloody Elbow.com):
“This is the first time I heard the name Maldonado. His is a name nobody knows. I then suggested that he has three defeats in his last four fights. He was fired from the UFC for being unfit…
“Emelianenko said he was ready for any opponent, including UFC champion Werdum. He said he was open to all suggestions, but he was not satisfied with the terms. I talked with the leaders of the UFC, and was told that Fedor was offered excellent conditions. Any fee that Rizin FF offered, UFC was ready to increase by a hundred thousand dollars.”
Now, none of us have been privy to the negotiations, so, we don’t really know what’s been tabled by the UFC. It could be that the Reebok sponsorship deal is an issue for Fedor’s team, or, perhaps he wants even more money than what’s been offered. Or, maybe Fedor isn’t in fact, really interested in fighting the best of the best?
Oleinik, meanwhile, hasn’t fought now since 2014 when he KO’d Jared Rosholt. The heavyweight has gone 2-0 in the UFC to date.