Fedor Emelianenko says he’s “much closer” to signing with UFC than in the past

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Fedor Emeliankenko

Fedor Emelianenko continues to tease out the possibility of signing with the UFC, saying this week it’s as close to reality as it’s ever been.

“In a word, yes. That possibility does exist,” Emelianenko said in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “…Right now, I’m much closer compared to when I just came back to MMA. Yes, we did receive an offer. But there are some finer points that we wanted to discuss.

“I always wanted to fight for UFC and I would fight for UFC, but at this moment we’re looking at the deal and the deal has to satisfy both parties – them and my organization. Until there’s no friction, until we are 100 percent in terms of seeing eye-to-eye, we are all basically in limbo.”

Emelianenko fights in his home country of Russia this Friday, taking on UFC vet Fabio Maldonado in a fight that airs live on UFC Fight Pass.

Penick’s Analysis: Emelianenko’s been going fight to fight since his return for contracts, and hasn’t locked up anything for longer than that. It means signing with the UFC could be a very realistic possibility if they can come to terms on something for the fall, but it would also mean him agreeing to more than one fight, as they don’t typically sign people for one-off fights. Still, he’s the biggest name to have never competed inside the Octagon, and his appearance in the organization would be a big deal.

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