ByJosh Molina, writer at
Covers mixed martial arts and professional wrestling and the convergence of the two industries.
Josh Molina

Well, he's been in this situation before. He's a favorite going into a fight.

But this time Fedor Emelianenko isn't facing Fabricio Werdum, Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva or Dan Henderson. These favorite odds might stick? Or will they?

"The Last Emperor," regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, will fight Fabio Maldonado Friday in Russia at EFN 50, in a fight that will be streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.

A lot is riding on the fight.

Emelianenko, 39, if he wins or doesn't lose badly, stands a chance of getting signed by the UFC afterward, paving the way for some dream matches against Werdum, Brock Lesnar and even Jon Jones.

Fedor is a -1800 favorite over Maldonado, 36, a former UFC fighter. Maldonado (22-9) was TKO'd against UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and lost decisions to Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Corey Anderson.

Emelianenko (35-4) was riding high at one time, going a decade without a defeat, while pulling off amazing comeback victories over fighters much larger than him in PRIDE, Affliction and Elite XC.

All signs point to an Emelianenko victory, but as we all know by now, being a favorite going into a fight can also spell doom. For Emelianenko, a loss and a potential multimillion-dollar UFC paycheck are on the line.


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