Bellator president Scott Coker says the rematch between Fedor Emelianenko and Fabricio Werdum lies in the hands of both of these fighters.
Emelianenko and Werdum clashed in a bout that will forever be engrained in the minds of longtime hardcore MMA fans. After going 27-0, 1 NC in his last 28 outings, Emelianenko was submitted by Werdum on June 26, 2010. Werdum eventually returned to the UFC and became the promotion’s heavyweight champion. Many have wondered what would’ve happened had the two squared off a second time.
Earlier this summer, former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum snapped a two-fight losing streak by submitting Alexander Gustafsson at UFC Fight Island 3. The win was the last fight on Werdum’s contract with UFC, and even beforehand, the former champion was open about not intending to re-sign with the promotion.
Instead, Werdum suggested he might reconnect with former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, who now heads up Bellator MMA, perhaps to do a rematch with Fedor Emelianenko. And though nothing is set in stone yet, things seem to be getting closer.
Recently, Werdum claimed to be in “advanced” talks with Bellator regarding a rematch with “The Last Emperor.” MMAJunkie.com spoke to Bellator President Scott Coker for confirmation. Coker said the decision lies in Fedor’s hands.
Wednesday, Coker told MMA Junkie he recently met with Werdum’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, in San Jose, Calif. to discuss a handful of Abdelaziz’s clients, former UFC heavyweight champion Werdum among them. According to Coker, Emelianenko will fight two more times before he retires. If he wants a rematch against Werdum to be one of them, Coker says he will make it happen.
“Fedor is, I think, 50/50 on it,” Coker said. “It’s not the burning desire that maybe Fabricio wants it to be, but we’re gonna keep talking to Fedor and see if he wants to do it. And if Fedor wants to do it, then we will definitely do it, because that might be a fight that he fights in Moscow or someplace on one of his last two fights.”
Both fighters are coming off victories. Last December, Emelianenko finished Quinton Jackson with punches at 2:44 of Round 1. In July, Werdum submitted former UFC light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson in seconds via armbar. That was Werdum’s final fight on his UFC contract, after which he signed with Bellator. Fedor would love to avenge his first loss to Werdum but now the decision of the rematch totally lies in the hands of the fighters.
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