When Fedor Emelianenko officially announced his return to professional competition, it unleashed a torrent of speculation as to which promotion he would join, and whether he would take potential UFC negotiations seriously.
Less than two months later, it was announced during a Bellator MMA broadcast that Fedor had joined forces with former Pride FC boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara and had signed a deal with his upstart promotion Rizin Fighting Federation.
While much remains unclear with regards to the actual deal, Fedor recently devlved into the negotiations and shed some light on the entire process.
"[The negotiations first started] in April of this year," Fedor told rsport.ru. "When they first planted the seed of doubt [that I may want to fight again] I began to think . By the summer I began to weigh the pros and cons. I enlisted the support of my family and made my decision.
"Meetings took place from time to time and after some time we achieved a mutual understanding."
Asked about the details of his contract, Fedor remained slightly cryptic about the length and monetary compensation.
" [We agreed on a] certain number of fights until the end of next year. But, of course, that will depend on the performances. If you are a beautiful victory, they will bring you back as often as possible. And if they will play or show uninteresting fights, it is unlikely. One does not want to watch uninteresting fighting.
However, the actual signed deal is just for a single fight.
"Depending on the outcome, I will think of what to do next."
Fedor also confirmed that he still does not know exactly who his opponent will be, despite earlier reports that 2-0 Jaideep Singh would take that role.
"The Japanese side is still negotiating with several fighters and his name is still unknown. But there is still time, and I have the opportunity to prepare and enough time to get in shape."