Fedor "The Last Emperor" Emelianenko has booked his next challenge, following his comeback fight in December.
The former PRIDE Heavweight champ has been scheduled to compete under the Rizin Fighting Federation banner on June 17 in St. Petersburg, Russia. He'll be facing longtime UFC vet Fabio Maldonado in a Heavyweight match-up. The news was first reported by Brazilian outlet Combate.
Emelienanko is 35-4 (with one NC) in his MMA career. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time, suffering only a single loss in his first 31 pro fights; a controversial cut he suffered against Tsuyoshi Kohsaka. Following his signing with Strikeforce though in 2009, he began to struggle, racking up three losses in a row against Fabricio Werdum, Antonio Silva, and Dan Henderson. He followed those up with three victories, before retiring in 2012.
"The Last Emperor" didn't stay retired for long though, reemerging in December 2015 to defeat Jaideep Singh at Rizin FF.
Maldonado meanwhile is 22-9, and became a fan favorite in the UFC for his aggressive fighting style, which earned him a 5-6 record within the Octagon.
After leaving the UFC, Maldonado nabbed two quick knockouts in professional boxing matches. Before he faces Emelianenko in Russia, Maldonado is apparently booked to face Felipe Dantas in a Light Heavyweight bout in Brazil on May 6.