In an article over at SI.com, WAMMA Heavyweight Champion Fedor Emelianenko says that he plans on making a return to action in Japan on New Year's Eve.
“I think definitely by New Year's Eve I'll be ready to go,” the Russian told Si.com
Fighting in Japan on New Years Eve has become some what of a tradition for the number one heavyweight fighter in the world. He has fought the last five years on December 31st, winning all five times, defeating the likes of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark Hunt, and Hong Man Choi.
Although it was speculated that Fedor would rematch Mirko “Cro Cop” on the New Years Eve show, Emelianenko says that he will likely fight a Judo player or a Sumo wrestler to provide a bout with the purpose of entertaining the Japanese fans. In 2005, he fought a 400lb Zuluzinho, knocking him out in 26 seconds.
Scheduled to face Andrei Arlovski for the WAMMA title at Affliction 2 on Oct. 11th, “The Last Emperor” had to pull out of the fight due to an injury to his hand that has kept him from returning to the gym since dispatching of former UFC Heavyweight Champion Tim Sylvia in 36 seconds at Affliction 1 on July 19th.
Arlovski will now face Josh Barnett with the winner likely to meet Emelianenko in early 2009.