The ‘Last Emperor’ is back.

On Saturday night it was revealed mixed martial arts icon Fedor Emelianenko will headline a New Year’s Eve card of a brand new Japanese promotion, headed by former Pride FC President Nobuyuki Sakakibara. The event will air in the U.S. on Spike TV.

The announcement was made during the broadcast of Bellator MMA: Dynamite 1, where fans witnessed the former Emelianenko make his way to the Bellator cage for an interview with color commentaor Jimmy Smiith.

“I’m a fighter and I am ready,” Emelianenko told the fans. “I will see you on New Year’s Eve on Spike TV.”

Bellator MMA is expected to co-promote the event alongside with the new promotion, which has yet to be named, and will is expected to fill the rest of the card with fighters from its own roster.

Emelianenko (34-4-1) was at one time considered the very best fighter on planet. Between 2001 and 2009, the Russian sambo specialist amassed an astounding record 27-0 record with one no contest. During prime years, Emelianenko walked away with victories over a who’s-who of the heavyweight division, including former PRIDE champion Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira, former K-1 champions Mirko Cro Cop, Semmy Schilt and Mark Hunt as well as former UFC champions Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski.

His reign of terror would eventually come to an end with a first round submission loss to reining UFC heavyweight Fabricio Werdum under the Strikeforce banner in 2010. Emelianenko would go on to drop his next two bout to Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva and Dan Henderson before righting the ship with a decision win over former UFC title contender Jeff Monson

He would earn two more knockout victories over Sataoshi Ishi and Pedro Rizzo before announcing his retirement.

There is no word on who Emelianenko’s first oppnenent will be.

Watch the entire announcement from Bellator: Dynamite 1 below:

About The Author

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José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.