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US remains best place for MMA – Fedor

Published time: March 07, 2012 07:36
Edited time: March 07, 2012 11:52
Russian mixed martial arts heavyweight fighter Fedor Emelianenko (L) fight Jeff Monson of the US in Moscow on November20, 2011. (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich)

Russian mixed martial arts heavyweight fighter Fedor Emelianenko (L) fight Jeff Monson of the US in Moscow on November20, 2011. (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich)

Probably, the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, Fedor Emelianenko, says he really wants to hold more bouts in Russia, but it is the US which is still the hottest spot for mixed martial arts.

­“I can tell you the timing of my next bout right now,” Fedor said in his interview with Sportbox.ru. “It’s going to be June or July.”

The venue of the match has not been set yet, but, according to the 35-year-old, the match is most likely to take place in the US.

“Of course, I want to compete at home, in front of my countrymen,” the Last Emperor stressed. “But at the moment, the strongest and most respected MMA organization is situated in America. It’s the UFC. Therefore, I have to go to the US in order to face the strongest opponents.”

The clash against Jeff Monson in November last year, was Emelianenko’s only appearance in the ring in Russia after he became a global star in the MMA.

There is also no certainty about the name of his opponent, with the media reports linking Fedor to possible bouts against American fighters – Cain Velasquez and Josh Barnett.

The Russian confirmed that both options are now being discussed, but added that he would like to avoid taking on Barnett.

“I really sympathize with Josh, and we’ve been friends for a long time,” he said. “Perhaps, he is the only fighter whom I wouldn’t want to meet in the ring.”

Fedor last held an MMA bout on New Year’s Eve, knocking out Japanese fighter Satoshi Ishii. The Russian’s record in the ring is now 33 wins, four losses and one no-contest.

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