By Ken Pishna/MMAWeekly.com
November 20, 2007
Less than a week after word leaked out on the Russian Mix-Fight Championship website that Fedor Emelianenko would be fighting on New Year’s Eve and then a subsequent denial by one M-1 Global official, the situation has come round full circle.
Sources close to the situation confirmed on Monday that Emelianenko will indeed be fighting on New Year’s Eve after all and that current reports on the Mix-Fight website are accurate.
Greg Savage of Sherdog.com reported that Emelianenko’s opponent will be 7’2” Korean Hong Man Choi.
The rumors of a New Year’s Eve bout for the Russian fighter actually began when Emelianenko published a letter to Japanese fans on the Mix-Fight website saying, “Your wishes come true when you ask for them come New Year's Eve,” and later continued, "I contacted M-1 Global management and received their complete support in my desire to continue the tradition of fighting in Japan on New Year's Eve."
M-1 Global president and CEO Monte Cox at the time stated, “No, it’s not going to happen,” quashing that initial rumor. “There was an offer. We looked at it. We tried to see if it was possible. But in the end, there just wasn’t enough time to pull it off.”
Then came last week’s report on the Mix-Fight website that purported the new rumor and the subsequent denial by M-1 Global vice president Brian Patton, who said, “The team is in Japan right now, but it is in regards to a fight in the spring. To my knowledge, Fedor is not fighting in Japan in December. Unless things have changed since our last conference call…”
And that leads us back around to now, where things most definitely have changed with sources confirming the fight.
Emelianenko will apparently fight Choi as part of a show being organized by the promoters of the Japanese professional wrestling organization Hustle. Several of Hustle’s employees were involved in operation of the now defunct Pride Fighting Championships.
Emelianenko was the final Pride heavyweight titleholder and is currently ranked as the No. 1 heavyweight fighter in the world by MMAWeekly.com.
M-1 Global officials did confirm that there would be a press conference concerning Fedor Emelianenko’s future to be held on Wednesday, Nov. 21 in Tokyo.
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Updated on Tuesday, Nov 20, 2007 3:35 pm, EST
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