Saturday, April 9, 2011
Fedor Emelianenko ready to fight again
By Josh Gross ESPN.com
Fedor Emelianenko has informed his camp that he would fight Dan Henderson in July, the heavyweight's management told ESPN.com on Saturday.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker said an agreement to put two of the most heralded mixed martial arts fighters in the cage "is not done yet."
However M-1 Global's Apy Echteld, who represents Emelianenko and is in San Diego as part of Gegard Mousasi's camp for a Strikeforce bout against Keith Jardine at the Valley View Casino Center, said it could be completed as soon as Sunday.
"He agreed. He's ready to fight," Echteld said of Emelianenko.
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The "Last Emperor" has recently traveled to Holland to work on his fitness, striking and grappling in Holland. While the option of dropping to light heavyweight was considered, Emelianenko would prefer to remain in the heavyweight division.
"With his progress from training, I can only think he'll be back the way he was," Echteld said of the former Pride champion, who's fallen in consecutive fights for the first time in his storied career. "If he doesn't win, he'll make his own decisions like he does now. If he stops, he stops. But if he wins, I think he'll continue fighting."
Henderson, 40, expressed interest in challenging he 34-year-old Russian after winning the Strikeforce light heavyweight championship in March.
Henderson spoke to Strikeforce officials three weeks ago, according to a source in the American's camp, and indicated that if Emelianenko
(31-3) was available he would accept the fight, regardless of weight.
Echteld said the bout could take place at a catchweight between
Henderson (27-8) is owed a fight by the end of July or Strikeforce could be in violation of its agreement with him, sources with knowledge of his agreement confirmed.
The bout is being discussed for Showtime pay-per-view.
Josh Gross covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.