Rizin Fighting Federation made their promotional debut a few weeks ago with a two-day New Years event. Despite the fact that they were putting on their first show, the card was stacked, including a match-up featuring Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Shinya Aoki, and the return of MMA icon Fedor Emelianenko.
It seems that after his quick win, Fedor isn't done fighting yet, and is looking for Rizin to find his next match. While a cross-promotion with the UFC is very unlikely, there are a number of free agent athletes that could make for a great booking against the former Pride FC champion.
One such man is Wanderlei Silva, who was recently released from his UFC contract after settling a lawsuit with the organization. Because of his lifetime ban in the US, Silva can really only be looking abroad for his next fight.
According to Rizin VP Jerry Millen, they want to bring Silva back to Japan.
"It's Wanderlei Silva, of course I'd love to see Wanderlei Silva in Japan," Millen told Submission Radio. "He's a warrior. Wanderlei Silva is one of my favourite fighters in the world because Wanderlei Silva brings it. Every fight, win or lose. Wanderlei Silva is a warrior and he brings it. Either you're going to kick his ass or he's going to kick your ass and he's a great - I love Wanderlei Silva. Very good friend and I would love to see Wanderlei in Japan, so we'll see."
When asked if Wanderlei Silva could potentially face Fedor, Millen replied:
"I think people would love to see that. I'd love to see it even though I'm close to both of them. I'd hate to see friends fight, but hey, it's a sport and friends have to fight because that's just the way the business is."
While Wanderlei has spent most of his career at 205 lbs., he has fought at heavyweight a few times before with mixed results.
Another potential match-up for Fedor is apparently former UFC champion Brock Lesnar, whose comeback rumors seem to spring up every couple of months.
While no official negotiations have begun, Millen did reveal that he and Fedor have discussed the possibility.
"If Brock wants to fight, we would definitely entertain it. I know Fedor, you know, we've talked about it. I know Brock is wrapped up in the WWE, I just don't know what his... I'm sure he still has a contract, I think he still has a contract in place with the UFC. So I don't know. They would never, never allow that to happen. So if he doesn't have a contract with the UFC, sure it could happen.
"You know, the WWE, Stephanie's over there running a great show and Vince, and I know they were big Pride fans, and Shane McMahon was actually a huge Pride fan and also like a bigger Fedor fan. And so yeah, it could happen if Brock says he wants to come out. But yeah, I think he's under UFC contract. But we'd definitely take him."