M-1: June Targeted for Return of Fedor Emelianenko

Esther Lin, Strikeforce

Last summer, Fedor Emelianenko was in the midst of the worst stretch -- the only bad streak, really -- of his career. But the "Last Emperor" wasn't ready to retire, and now he's won two in a row.

He's likely to attempt to add his next victory to his fight ledger in June, according to M-1's global director of operations Evgeni Kogan, who told MMA Fighting that recent rumors of a concrete date and opponent are incorrect.

"We're working towards securing a Fedor fight in Monaco for the summer, sometime around the time when Formula One happens," he said. "Specifically, a little while afterwards."

The Formula One racing series is scheduled to make its annual stop through the principality during the period of May 24-27, and Kogan said M-1 was targeting an event "closer to the second week of June."

Kogan noted that neither a date or opponent have yet to be finalized, and that the promotion hopes to officially announce both around mid-March.

Asked about reports that Emelianenko would face former UFC fighter Todd Duffee, Kogan would not confirm or deny any individual rumors.

"The search for the opponent is currently in process with a number of worthy candidates being considered," he said.

In his most recent bout, Emelianenko (33-4, 1 no contest) knocked out former Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii in the first round, his first stoppage win since KO'ing Brett Rogers in November 2009. Prior to defeating Ishii, he earned a unanimous decision over Jeff Monson.

As for a reported thigh injury that hampered Emelianenko in the aftermath of his two fights in two months, Kogan said that the former PRIDE champ is currently in "fine health."

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