Amsterdam, Holland — Officials from CBS announced Thursday that the long-awaited United States return of M-1 Global’s Fedor Emelianenko will take place on Saturday, Nov. 7 at a venue to be determined.
M-1 Global (www.M-1Global.com) officials can also confirm that Emelianenko will indeed be taking on undefeated 10-0 top-ten ranked heavyweight Brett Rogers in the main event of the first-ever show to be conducted under a three-fight co-promotion agreement between M-1 Global and Strikeforce.
“We are extremely proud to be working with Scott Coker, Strikeforce, CBS, and SHOWTIME, in what we consider to be a true co-promotional relationship,” said President and Founding M-1 Global owner Vadim Finkelchtein. “To be able to bring exposure to the M-1 name in front of such a large American viewing audience on national television is a tremendous achievement for M-1 Global.”
The Nov. 7 event will mark the first time a Russian-born mixed martial artist has headlined an MMA event on prime time network television in the U.S. And Emelianenko will be making his U.S. debut against a fighter in Rogers who will go down in history along with Jon Murphy as being the first two fighters ever to compete in a MMA contest on prime time television.
“Brett Rogers knocked out Mr. Murphy in just 1:01 of round 1 in his CBS debut in 2008, so we know he will be a very dangerous and prepared opponent,” remarked Finkelchtein. “However, we are always looking for new challenges and Brett Rogers presents a great one for Fedor.
“When we looked at the fan polls in the U.S. this past August, the fight American fans wanted to see most for Fedor was Brett Rogers so it is with great pleasure that we are able to work with Strikeforce and CBS in bringing this fight to the American public at no cost.”
Emelianenko is known by many media pundits as just not being the the top heavyweight in the world, but also the top pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. Having already built up a strong fanbase in America, it is anticipated that exposure on network television will propel his stardom to new levels. However, the Stary Oskol native’s network TV debut will take place against a 6’5”, 265 pound heavyweight who has stopped all of his opponents inside of two rounds.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Brett Rogers,” said Emelianenko. “He has worked his way from the bottom to the top and his recent win over Andrei Arlovski is very impressive and made him a top-ten heavyweight from the perspective of many people, including me.”
Emelianenko is also looking forward to competing on U.S. soil for the first time since his devastating first round knockout victory over Arlovski — former UFC heavyweight champion — back in January of this year.
“Of course, after not being able to compete as scheduled in August I am happy for the opportunity to be competing in front of Americans. I have been training hard for this fight and hope to put on a performance that the fans will find satisfactory.”
The first-ever co-promotion between M-1 Global and Strikeforce will serve as the first look at Emelianenko for many casual American sports fans. It will be their opportunity to watch the last reigning heavyweight champion of the what was at one time was considered the premier mixed martial arts organization in the world, the Japan-based PRIDE Fighting Championships.
Additionally, Emelianenko also holds the distinction of being the first-ever World Alliance of Mixed Martial Arts heavyweight champion and is the proud owner of victories over five former UFC heavyweight champions (Kevin Randleman, Mark Coleman, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Tim Sylvia, and Arlovski).
With an impressive record of 30-1, Emelianenko’s lone loss was a controversial defeat suffered in December of 2000 against Tsuyoshi Koshaka. For Emelianenko, the bout against against the former UFC veteran took place in just his fifth-ever fight and was stopped due to a cut from what many considered to be an illegal blow deliver by Koshaka. In the minds of many, Fedor has never truly been defeated.
In addition to his remarkable accomplishment in mixed martial arts, Emelianenko is also a national hero in his home country of Russia. In addition to having served as a member of the Russian Army, he is also a 12-time Russian, European, and World Champion in Combat Sambo, the national martial art of Russia, and also carried the Olympic Torch leading up to the ’08 Beijing Games.
Emelianenko also is part-owner with Mr. Finkelchtein of the M-1 Global promotion, a mixed martial arts company that has been in existence for over 10 years and has introduced the sport of MMA to countries all over the world.
M-1 Global currently produces the M-1 Challenge, a year-long, team-based competition featuring 16 teams from all over the world competing for the coveted M-1 Challenge Championship Cup. Referred to by many as the “World Cup of Mixed Martial Arts,” one of the 16 teams is Emelianenko’s own Team Russian Imperial, which won the 2008 M-1 Challenge Championship Cup in Holland earlier this year.
The M-1 Challenge is televised in over 80 countries and can be seen weekly in the U.S. every Friday at 8 p.m. ET on HDNet. The semifinals of the current season are scheduled to take place Sept. 26 in Rostov, Russia and will feature two teams from the U.S., one from England, as well as one from Russia. The event will be carried live via Internet pay-per-view on both M-1’s English language web site www.M-1Global.com and Russian-language site www.Mixfight.ru.