As expected, Shane Carwin will be competing for Rizin Fighting Federation in the near future, but it’s highly unlikely that his debut will come against Fedor Emelianenko.
The Japanese organization announced that Carwin will be the eighth man in its open-weight Grand Prix tournament, which began with first round bouts on Sept. 25 and continues on Dec. 29 at Rizin 3 in Saitama, Japan. Carwin joins the bracket, which also includes Mirko Filipovic and Wanderlei Silva, as a wild card entrant. His opponent has yet to be determined.
The tournament will conclude with semifinal and championship bouts at Rizin 4 on Dec. 31. Carwin recently hinted on Twitter that he had signed with the promotion and accepted a bout against Emelianenko. However, the Russian pound-for-pound great is not part of the Grand Prix.
Carwin, 41, revealed that he was interested in returning to the UFC in the summer after retiring from the sport in 2013. The former interim heavyweight champion later confirmed that he and the Las Vegas-based organization had parted ways, allowing him to pursue other offers as a free agent.
An NCAA Division II national champion wrestler at Western State University, Carwin rattled off 12 consecutive first-round finishes to begin his MMA career — including four in the UFC. He captured interim gold with a first-round knockout of Frank Mir at UFC 111 and had then champion Brock Lesnar reeling in the opening stanza at UFC 116 before submitting to an arm-triangle choke in the second frame.