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Fedor Emelianenko Says He’s “Closer” to Deal With UFC

Kelsey Mowatt

Fedor Emelianenko

Fedor Emelianenko is set to battle Fabio Maldonado at EFN 50 this Friday, but after that, could the storied fighter be headed to the UFC? Well, in a new interview, Emelianenko has said it’s a possibility.

As longtime and hardcore fans know all to well, the UFC and Emelianenko’s camp have been in talks before, but no deal materialized. When Fedor announced his return last year, he also said he was interested in fighting for the UFC, but ultimately he went with RIZIN FF (and stopped Jaideep Singh).

Well, the former PRIDE champ appeared on “The MMA Hour” today, and during the interview Fedor told Ariel Helwani that its possible his next fight could take place in the Octagon. In addition, he reportedly stated (quote via MMA Fighting.com)

 “Right now, I’m much closer compared to when I just came back to MMA,” Emelianenko said. … “Yes, we did receive an offer. But there are some finer points that we wanted to discuss.”

Guess we’ll see what happens right? Now sure, we’ve been down this road before, and as noted, Emelianenko signed elsewhere. But this time around, things do seem different.

1) The 39 year-old Fedor is nearing the end of his career, so if he does want to fight for the UFC at least once, the time is now

2) As far as we know, there’s no co-promotion being tabled, which was a deal breaker before when Fedor was with M-1 Global.

3) Fedor’s fight on Friday is being streamed live on Fight Pass, and the UFC hasn’t been shy about promoting that fact.

First things first, and that’s Maldonado, who is as tough as they come and has some dangerous hands. The bout will headline EFN 50, which will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia.

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