We just might finally see Fedor Emelianenko in the UFC.
Emelianenko recently signed a contract to appear in the cage against Fabio Maldonado at Fight Nights Global in June. The pair will square off in the main event.
At a press event to promote the June event, Emelianenko told the media that his management is in close talks with the UFC and they are considering Fabricio Werdum as a potential match-up.
"We are continuing to negotiate with the UFC. We did not put a cross on the organization. The probability is very high [that I will fight there]," Emelianenko told sovsports.ru.
Emelianenko has made these kinds of claims before. At one point he claimed he would likely leave M-1 Global, his former home and management team, to fight in the UFC. Emelianenko added that he's already told the UFC that he's ready to accept a rematch with Werdum.
UFC heavyweight Alexey Olenik, who was unimpressed by Emelianenko's choice to fight Maldonado, had his own take on the situation. He was not impressed with Emelianenko's decision to fight 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. Of course, Fedor is a great option for him," Oleinik said.
According to Oleinik, UFC officials told him that they had offered Emelianenko more money than Rizin, yet he chose to go with the Japanese promoters.
"Emelianenko said he was ready for any opponent, including UFC champion Werdum," Oleinik added. "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."
Emelianenko will meet Maldonado in the Fight Nights Global main event on June 17 in St. Petersburg, Russia, which will be the first time Fedor will be fighting in Russia since 2012.
As for that UFC contract? We'll just have to wait and see.