MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko is scheduled to fight for the former Pride President Nobuyuki Sakakibara in his new MMA promotion (Rizin Fighting Federation) on December 31st, 2015, but for months his opponent was not known. This has changed thanks to Inside MMA’s Bas Rutten.
According to Rutten, Emelianenko will be fighting Tsuyoshi Kohsaka in a rubber match, which will air in the morning on Spike TV.
Sources close to Inside MMA & @BasRuttenMMA say Fedor Emelianenko will fight Tsuyoshi Kohsaka in a rubber match New Year’s Eve in Japan.
— Inside MMA (@InsideMMAaxstv) November 7, 2015
You can see Rutten make the announcement here:
Kohsaka handed Fedor his first loss back in 2000 in Rings, a questionable stoppage due to cuts very early in the contest. In the second bout, Emelianenko would get his revenge back in 2005 by first-round TKO.
Nobuyuki Sakakibara, who is starting the new promotion, is the same man who once headed PRIDE before the promotion sold to the UFC in 2007.
Emelianenko hasn’t fought since October 7th, 2011, which was when he announced his retirement following a first-round knockout of Pedro Rizzo. Emelianenko is 3-3 in his last six, but after a three-fight losing streak in his last three Strikeforce appearances, he ripped off three straight wins. In his last two bouts, he won by the first-round knockout over less quality opponents.