At long last the suspense has ended: Fedor Emelianenko finally has a dance partner for New Year’s Eve.
However, just like when this particular opponent was initially rumored to face Emelianenko more than two months ago, the announcement is likely to generate more eye rolls than excitement in the MMA community.
Emelianenko will face Jaideep Singh in the headliner of Rizin Fighting Federation’s Dec. 31 event, which will take place at the Saitaima Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. The matchup was announced during a press conference in Japan on Thursday. The event will air on Spike TV at 10 a.m. ET/PT on Dec. 31, with only a slight tape delay.
It has been a lengthy process waiting for news of Emelianenko’s opponent since it was announced that the Russian would compete for Rizin at Bellator 142 in September. Once regarded as the sport’s top pound-for-pound fighter, “The Last Emperor” hasn’t competed since knocking out Pedro Rizzo in the first round at an M-1 Global event in June 2012.
Singh holds an extensive kickboxing record but is just 2-0 in MMA competition. The 28-year-old India native last fought on Oct. 17, stopping Carlos Toyota via second-round TKO at Deep 73 “Impact.”