Despite a promotional poster that showed otherwise, it appears Fedor Emelianenko may not take part in the Rizin Openweight tournament.
According to former Pride and UFC heavyweight Mirko ‘Cro cop’ Filipovic, he has no reason to believe that the Russian legend will participate in the tournament.
"They mentioned a few names, but I have no sense for anyone in particular," Cro Cop told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour (h/t MMAFighting.com). "But if you think Fedor, it wont be Fedor. There was a poster made with Fedor and my face, and it said, ‘Rizin opening round September 25', but it's just kinda commercial, you know. I don't think Fedor will actually participate in the tournament."
According to sources close to the situation, Fedor’s relationship with Rizin has been rocky ever since he opted to sign a one-fight deal with Fight Nights Global to face Fabio Maldonado in June. It remains unclear whether we will see him fight for the Japanese organization again.
While the entire situation is a mystery to Crocop, he remains interested in a rematch of their 2005 classic for the Pride heavyweight title.
"Of course I would like [the opportunity to fight Fedor], but I don't think he will participate," Cro Cop said. "That's my opinion. I didn't ask nobody and nobody has told me anything, but I don't think he'll participate in the tournament."