According to a report from Brazilian media outlet Combate, the Japanese fight promotion Rizin Fight Federation is targeting a heavyweight fight between mixed martial arts icon Fedor Emelianenko and former UFC light heavyweight Fábio Maldonado. The entire event is expected to take place  June 17th in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Emelianenko (35-4-1), the former Pride FC heavyweight champion, recently made his return to competition with a first round submission win over Indian kickboxer Jaideep Singh at Rizin’s inaugural event in January. This ended “The Last Emperor’s” three-year hiatus from the sport of MMA.

The Russian icon was at one time considered the very best fighter on planet. Between 2001 and 2009, ‘The Last Emperor’ 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.

Maldonado (22-9), also an amateur boxer with an overall record 40-5, was last dropping a decision to The Ultimate Fighter 19 winner Corey Anderson at UFC Fight Night 77 in November. This mark the Brazilian’s second straight loss and his third in his last four bouts overall. Following his loss to Anderson, the UFC handed Maldonado his walking papers.

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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.