After spending several months furiously denying that Fedor Emelianenko would be fighting Jaideep Singh newly formed Japanese promotion Rizin FF backtracked furiously this morning and admitted that the much mocked heavyweight matchup would be going ahead.
The story was first broken by MMA Fighting back in October but Rizin FF initially denied that Singh would be Fedor’s opponent.
A couple of weeks later the Indian fighter found himself fighting for and winning the vacant Deep megatron (heavyweight) title.
That victory took Singh’s record to 2-0 and made him a reigning champion with a respected Japanese promotion yet Rizin FF still waited two more months to confirm Helwani’s story. At a press conference this morning promoter Nobuyuki Sakakibara finally announced that Ferdor would in fact be facing the kickboxing veteran.
Fedor (34-4-0-1) has not fought since 2012 and will be coming out of retirement to headline Rizin FF’s New Year’s Eve show at the Saitama Super Arena. He won his last three fights but fans will also remember that he went 1-3 fighting for Strikeforce.
Prior to that stint Fedor was universally regarded as being the best heavyweight in the world. He went nine years unbeaten and was the Pride heavyweight champion during a period when the organization had stellar names like Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mirko Filipovic and Mark Hunt on the roster.
Singh is best known for his accomplishments as a kickboxer. In 2009 he won the Seoul K-1 Grand Prix and two years later he knocked out three separate Japanese opponents in a single night to win the RISE heavyweight tournament.
He’s not such a big name in MMA circles but Singh (2-0) made his debut on an SFL card in 2013, beating an unknown Iranian opponent by first round TKO. In his most recent fight he faced Carlos Toyota and won by TKO when the Brazilian’s corner decided not to send him out for the final round.