Rumor: Rolles Gracie will be Fedor Emelianenko’s next opponent


Earlier today news broke that Fedor Emelianenko may fight Rolles Gracie this summer at his previously announced fight at the ice palace, St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 21st. Gracie, the son of the legendary BJJ pioneer Rolls Gracie, had this to say about the fight today:

“Where there is smoke there is fire. My manager is under negotiation with M1. We’re really close to make this fight against Fedor to happen.”– Courtesy of:

While his words online may show great enthusiasm for the proposed bout, Gracie will find himself with a tough task in front of him should he face “The Last Emperor.” Gracie currently sports a 6-1 MMA record, having most recently bested Bob Sapp in February. However, Rolles Gracie was noticeably gassed in his single UFC bout in 2010, a TKO loss to Joey Beltran. It will be interesting to see how he can respond to the noticeable step-up in competition that Fedor Emelianenko presents. Gracie was the American National No-Gi Super heavyweight champion in 2010, a testament to his family’s prowess. His vast BJJ background would be put to the complete test against submission whiz Emelianenko.

What Gracie also brings to the table as a potential opponent of Emelianenko is instant name recognition. The Gracie family is the single most famous last name in fighting to this day, and this fact will provide a good amount of interest to this bout. If Fedor Emelianenko does not find himself fighting in the UFC as was previously rumored, fighting opponents with some recognition will be key to remain relevant. Emelianenko has responded well to a small slide last year by beating Jeff Monson via decision and knocking out Satoshi Ishii on New Year’s Eve in Japan. Stayed tuned to for more information.

Further Reading: Fedor Emelianenko to return on June 21st in Russia


Photo: Francis Specker

  • No disrespect to Rolles Gracie, but Fedor should be competing with higher ranked fighters. Losing to three of the best heavyweights in the
    world shouldn’t exile him to fighting such random competition.

  • I don’t mean to be critical (cuz I don’t want M1_global to bite my head off) but do you think he could just be padding his record and regaining confidence. Perhaps even building a resume for application to the UFC?

  • fedors management are jokes, watch rolles gracies one ufc fight…. hopeless

  • Was that the same Gracie that gassed in 2 minutes and couldnt even move? I hope not!

  • What’s next for Fedor? Bob Sapp?! Rolles Gracie who, for the record, was knocked out by Joey Beltran and just defeated Sapp is yet another step down in Fedor’s declining career…Clearly, the last emperor is running out of credible competition…

  • for me this is a big challenge for FEDOR cause, ALL his recent defeats are due to lack of ground game.
    yes man!!! he has holes in modern grappling . both his grappling and his boxing is all fashioned, but specially his grappling!!! that worked in the past but not now , sambo isn’t going to give the necessary grappling background needed in nowadays MMA fights , despite of this, he is my favorite fighter cause he is a great human being , so don´t get me wrong, not disrespect to him at all!!
    even more, if he were more open minded , if he would have tried training BJJ … it would have been different story.
    Greetings from the ass of the world!!

  • After Satoshi Ishii, I thought it was impossible to go any lower. But it lease Satoshi was the Olimpic Champion. I understand playing safe from Fedor’s side, but not that safe.

    I like Fedor, but it is getting pathetic.

  • Glad he is back to fighting top ranked, quality opponents.

  • Fedor is a great warrior and a good human being. I don’t think that his association with M1 changes that. I think that Fedor has opted to do what is best for M1 rather than for his personal career. While this is frustrating for fans, including myself, I do not look down on him for this.

    Since Zuffa swallowed Strikeforce, there are very few opponents available for Fedor. I believe he desires to fight the best opponents available to him, but loyalty to M1 has separated him from the UFC and Zuffa. Like it or not, I still have the utmost respect for him.

  • OK its not competitive for Fedor. But what can he actually do? There is not much option left, and Dana doesnt wanna see him in UFC. What should Fedor do? Beg to fight for free in UFC or just retire? For realty he has no choice but fight guys low level. He might even fight in SFL agains Bobby Lesley (for the record Bobby Lesley is better fighter than Broke Lesnar!)

  • When Dana & Co. were growing the UFC, do you think that Chuck Lidell would have severed his ties with them to go and fight for a larger foreign competitor. Just a thought.

  • I think M-1 is just feeding Fedor lies and saying that they know whats best and for Fedor to listen to them. Fedor probably just goes along like a confused puppy.

    M-1 is putting Fedor’s name down the drain and it seems Fedor is too stupid to say anything about it (Its pretty mean to say but when hes fighting Rolles Gracie next, how can you disagree)

  • Fedor needs to sign a deal with the UFC and fight as a LHW. If he does that and wins, awesome! If he does it and loses, he went out fighting the best in the world, at his true weight. Either way it’s better than slowly waiting to retire while fighting guys that may be good, but aren’t considered the top tier by any means.

  • By the way, I am a fan Fedor.

  • Come on Fedor !
    I have to admit that Im a little bit disapointed by this choice.
    In Russia we are always happy to see Fedor kick the ****ing ass of those easy opponents ,
    but now, you Americans will keep criticizing him and saying he is not the best.
    I just want Fedor to beat a Top AMERICAN HW so ou guys will have to admit that he is the best ever.

  • Opponents he should rather fight:
    todd duffee who just came back with a brutal knockout;

    Geronimo dos Santos who rides an 8 fight winning streak (

    vinicius vina whos is 7-1, with all of his victories coming by finish

    i know those guys are not the best, but i think beating those guys would be better for fedor than beating gracie.
    just my opinion.

  • i’m just naming some heavyweights out of the ufc who i thing would be more legit opponents than gracie.

    another one fedor could face is Magomed Malikov, because that guy knocket out fedors brother.

    but the idea of fighting in the ufc at light heavy seems def. better

  • FE4

    I know what your saying and agree completely. I actually agree with a lot of the comments that are up here stating that there isn’t anyone outside of zuffa to fight. I think the decisions that are being made by M1 are completely based upon the name. While the guys that you named may be better competition, anybody that doesn’t follow MMA as much wouldn’t know who they are. Ishii was known for his olympic gold in Judo, Monson spent some time with the UFC and was the number one contender at one point (sad time for the UFC heavyweight division and anybody with a half a brain knows who the Gracie family is. It comes down to fans like you that watch and say these guys pose a greater threat and then there are those who say Fedor is fighting another nobody. I grew up watching Fedor in Pride and it sucks because he’s in a lose/lose situation with M1.

  • I agree that Fedor should have came to the UFC when he had the chance (not like it was a small window of time either), but he and his management continued to gamble with his legacy. Fedor and M-1 have made millions… I’m confident much more than any other MMA fighter and management company – and for that they should be credited. But now they’ve backed themselves into a corner where there is no legit competition and Fedor’s legacy is paying the price.

    Between Zuffa and M-1, there’s no good guy or bad guy in my opinion… M-1 made business decisions and now they gotta deal with them.

  • Might be cool to see a grappling battle but apart from that should be pretty one sided

  • maybe cole konrad to!

  • Anyone with the name Gracie is a valid opponent. Brazilian jujitsu is a household name nowadays and the Gracie family often demonstrate self-esteem that is a notch higher than it should be. Emilianenko is a world champion in combat sombo, so this fight has potential.

  • Has anyone though about why he can’t get better opponents? People are saying that M-1 Global is keeping Fedor’s mystic alive by getting lower ranked fighters BUT have you ever through that the top rank fighters NOT signed by Zuffa does not want to piss off Zuffa and the UFC? Think about it if they fight against Fedor it legitimize Fedor as a top rank HW in the world NOT signed by Zuffa or the UFC making Fedor an even bigger name than he is now. Look at the two that has beaten Fedor and where they are now. Hendo UFC (in line for a title shot), Werdum UFC. Do you believe if any of the two where beaten by Fedor they would be in the UFC? If this Rolles guy loses to Fedor where do you think he will end up? a lost to Fedor by any fighter mean no signing in Zuffa and it’s affiliates. There is SO MUCH to lose when you go up against Fedor.

  • that’s because he is not that good. so if you lose to him, Dana White will think you’re not good enough for the UFC. like so many other great fighters, the sport is evolving past his level of skill. great guy, great fighter. just not the best. he should just come to the UFC for whatever money they offer, if he is that rich already anyway. if he cares at all about showing people what he can do. or maybe he knows exactly what he’s doing, and knows he wouldn’t do that well in the UFC. and like Bruce Lee said. just padding his record. M1 Global’s biggest asset with Fedor for a long time, was just the fact that he was undefeated. just the 1 loss that didn’t really count. using that, and sub par fighters, they built that mystique around him. now they don’t know what to do, except the same thing. but the mystique is fading away big time.

  • Are you from Australia?

  • I think Fedor was the best once upon a time but now he is way past his prime. fighting or wining against these opponents will only cause more damage to his constantly diluting reputation.

  • I think Fedor was the best once upon a time but now he is way past his prime. fighting or wining against these opponents will only cause more damage to his constantly diluting reputation.

  • Sambo is an excellent grappling background.

  • what’s wrong with Bob Sapp?

  • FE4

    Interesting point, just to add to it Big Foot Silva is there as well. Fedors only three losses are in the UFC. I never looked at it in that light. Something else to think about.