Back in June 2010 – former UFC heavyweight champion, Fabríco ‘Vai Cavalo’ Werdum, sprung one of the biggest upsets in the antiquity of mixed martial arts. Following an initial unsuccessful run with the UFC – the Brazilian moved to Scott Coker‘s, Strikeforce promotion, and was paired with legendary PRIDE FC feature, Fedor ‘The Last Emperor’ Emelianenko.
The decorated Russian finisher was undefeated in a whopping twenty-eight outings – but dropped an earth-shattering first-round armbar defeat to Werdum in a San Jose, California headliner. The loss marked a string of three straight blemishes for the now 43-year-old, and ten years down the road – the Sambo and Judo ace has noted his interest in a potential re-run with Werdum.
Speaking with bellator-scott-coker-bellator-comments”>MMA Junkie ahead of Bellator 244 tomorrow night in Uncasville, Connecticut – Emelianenko, who’s fresh from a one-sided knockout victory over Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson at a RIZIN FF and Bellator co-promoted December event, remained coy on a possible rematch with the Brazilian.
“For myself, yes, I would like to fight him (Fabrício Werdum),” Emelianenko told. “Whether that’s a fight fans are interested in seeing or Bellator is interested in putting on, I don’t know that.“
Werdum, who recently returned from a ten-month USADA suspension, elected against resigning with the UFC following his eye-catching submission victory over multiple time light heavyweight title challenger, Alexander Gustafsson in a heavyweight matching last month.
Bellator president, the aforenoted, Coker gave his thoughts on a rematch between Emelianenko and Werdum but remained adamant that the Russian will return, in tow with fans in attendance.
“(The plans) haven’t changed,” Coker explained. “It’s just now, we have a little beat now because of the COVID situation. We’re going to see how it goes because Europe has started to open up where you can actually have some fans. The numbers are way down, and they kind of have it under control a little bit better than we do (in the United States).“
“But, listen, Fedor has to fight in front of fans,” Coker said. “I think that’s why you don’t see a lot of the MMA stars fighting now because they need the fans there to support it. Fedor is the same way. He’s the greatest heavyweight of all time. For me, it would be a shame for him to fight in an arena where there’s nobody there to watch his last few fights. We’re going to play it by ear. This is actually the first time I’ve seen Fedor.“
Coker would go on to mention how the promotion may look into the possibility of “pursuing” Werdum, ahead of a rematch with Emelinenko which Bellator would be, “interested in“.
“I love Fabrício (Werdum), and it’s something really that is Fedor’s decision,” Coker said. “One of the things I’m going to talk to Fedor (about) tonight is, ‘Is this an important fight for you?’ Whatever he says, then we’ll make it happen. If it’s an important fight to him, then we’ll probably put it together. If not, it doesn’t mean we won’t still pursue Fabrício.“
“The fight with him and Fedor would be something that, if it was an important revenge-type scenario for Fedor in his mind and something that still eats at him every day, then it would be something we’d be interested in.” (H/T MMA Junkie)
Regarded as arguably the greatest heavyweight in the sport’s history, twenty-year sport veteran, Emelianenko scored the PRIDE FC heavyweight title, as well as the 2004 heavyweight Grand Prix, among a slew of other accolades. In highlight career wins, Emelianenko has bested the likes of Ricardo Arona, Semmy Schilt, ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira (x2), Mark Coleman (x2), Kevin Randleman, Mirko Cro Cop, Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski, and Frank Mir to name a few.
Porto Alegre submission specialist, Werdum achieved first interim, then undisputed UFC heavyweight gold back in 2014 and then 2015, with finishes of both common foe, Mark Hunt, and Cain Velasquez, respectively. From twenty-four professional victories, the 2nd. degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has notched twelve submission successes.
Who wins a possible rematch between these two heavyweight greats?