Fedor Emelianenko hasn't fought since 2012, but the former PRIDE great says the break has done his body some good.
Emelianenko makes his return to fighting as the headliner of RIZIN's debut event set to air New Year's Eve from the famed Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
"Compared with what it was like three years ago, I recovered from all injuries," Emelianenko told Rizinff.com (via Bloody Elbow). "I was able to receive medical treatment for injuries that bothered me. You can decide after my fight [if I am better now].
"I think that you will not be disappointed."
Emelianenko was famously submitted by now UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum under the Strikeforce banner in 2010 before suffering back-to-back TKO losses to Antonio Silva and Dan Henderson in 2011.
"The Last Emperor" rebounded later in 2011 with a unanimous decision win over Jeff Monson in Moscow before scoring a KO against Satoshi Ishii that New Year's Eve in Japan. In 2012, Emelianenko blasted MMA great Pedro Rizzo in St. Petersburg, Russia, ending the Brazilian's night in less than 90 seconds.
Emelianenko returns against relative unknown Jaideep Singh, an opponent booked just weeks prior to the event. A -1500 favorite, Emelianenko insists he isn't taking Singh lightly.
"I think he is quite a serious contender," said Emelianenko. "Under the rules of K-1, he defeated Sergei Kharitonov. He is tall and heavy."
Never really one to call his shot, Emelianenko says he'll go with the flow against Singh.
"I do not make predictions. I will act according to the situation."
RIZIN airs Dec. 31 at 10:00 AM EST on SPIKE TV.
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FOTY. Marc Raimondi explains why Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald at UFC 189 is his 2015 Fight of the Year.
UFC 195 embedded episode 2.
Lawler thinks he'd KO Georges St-Pierre and that Jose Aldo will make a comeback.
Ben Askren talks being better than Condit and Lawler, free agency in MMA and more.
Bas Rutten quickly breaks down Andrei Arlovski vs. Stipe Miocic.
Weigh-in highlights from RIZIN. (full video here)
Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Shinya Aoki and King Mo vs. Brett McDermott at RIZIN.
It's not all fun and games... But God damn it, I love my job #UFC195— Carlos Condit (@CarlosCondit) December 30, 2015
Looking to dust off the saddle and get back in there. Announcement coming... https://t.co/uqFCaQwaVt— Cowboy Cerrone (@Cowboycerrone) December 30, 2015
Get well soon.
Getting my Rehab on. Not going into huge detail, but obviously hurt my knee last fight. Have a... https://t.co/XIWrchWvYv— Nik Lentz (@NikLentz) December 29, 2015
It was nice to simply be on the mats again today. Even though I couldn't train, being in a gi is... https://t.co/l0tmAvw3rP— Cole Miller (@colemillerATT) December 30, 2015
Sak must have gotten a decent pay check because he does not look in to this at all— Nick Newell (@NotoriousNewell) December 29, 2015
Ioki finally after six hundred unanswered strikes, hard to watch a legend go out like that #RIZIN— Al Iaquinta (@ALIAQUINTA) December 29, 2015
Big congrats to @a_ok_i on his win at Rizin!— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) December 29, 2015
FIGHTERS: If you're looking for an org where you don't need to train or game-plan and are willing to risk your life,Rizin FC is the place 4u— Tom Lawlor (@FilthyTomLawlor) December 29, 2015
What a piece of shit. Grapple him scumbag https://t.co/M9cdwfU2J6— phil baroni (@philbaroni) December 29, 2015
Still got it.
They caught me ufc's video https://t.co/kUzJOOuPkt— Justine Kish (@JustineKish1) December 30, 2015
The rumors were true all along.
Announced yesterday (Dec. 29 2015)
Jiri Prochazka vs. Vadim Nemkov at Rizin Fighting Federation 2
Muhammed Lawal vs. Teodoras Aukstuolis at Rizin Fighting Federation 2
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