Fedor Emelianenko, widely-regarded as the top heavyweight in the world, has signed a “historic, multi-fight agreement” with Strikeforce that will see him headline Strikeforce events co-promoted by M-1 Global.
Strikeforce announced the signing on Monday, which ends more than a week of speculation and negotiation that ensued following the collapse of Affliction’s MMA promotion, which was set to host an August 1 bout between Emelianenko and Josh Barnett only to cancel the card late last month after Barnett tested positive for steroids.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Fedor’s first Strikeforce fight will air live on Showtime this fall, with a date, location, and opponent to-be-announced.
“I am looking forward to going back to work and fighting at the highest level,” said Emelianenko in the announcement. “Strikeforce is a top fight promotion that houses some of the greatest fighters in the world. I am prepared to fight any of them.”
A former PRIDE heavyweight champion, Emelianenko’s (30-1) notable victories include wins over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mark “The Hammer” Coleman, and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, Kevin Randleman, Tim Sylvia, and Andrei Arlovski. “The Last Emperor” suffered his lone career loss in 2000 in just 17-seconds due to a cut suffered in the opening moments of the fight.
Fedor submitted Sylvia in just 36-seconds last July before knocking out Arlovski in the opening round of their January bout.
Emelianenko had also been offered a lucrative contract from the UFC, but the UFC’s refusal to co-promote with Fedor’s M-1 management prevented a deal from being reached.