After weeks of speculation surrounding who PRIDE icon Fedor Emelianenko would fight next it appears the public now has an answer.

According to M-1 Global representative Evgeni Kogan via Twitter, the promotion/management group’s star client has been paired with seasoned striker Pedro Rizzo (19-9) at a June 21 show in St. Petersburg, Russia. Rizzo is currently on a three-fight winning streak but hasn’t fought since July 2010. Previously Rolles Gracie and Bobby Lashley had both been rumored as opponents.

Emelianenko has looked sharp since his failed run in Strikeforce, picking up a pair of consecutive victories against Jeff Monson and Satoshi Ishii. He holds an overall record of 33-4 including success against some of the greatest heavyweights in MMA history including Mirko Filipovic and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

The bout will mark Emelianenko’s second fight in Russia in his last three outings.


MMATraining Take: On one hand, it pains me to see M-1 put Emelianenko up against another heavyweight with very little relevance in the division. On the other, there aren’t a lot of legitimate foes for him to face outside of the UFC and I understand the company’s desire to pad his record after losing three straight in Strikeforce.