The longtime PRIDE champion will meet former UFC heavyweight-title challenger Pedro Rizzo on June 21, M-1 official Evgeni Kogan today announced via Fedor Emelianenko vs. Pedro Rizzo announced for June 21 in Russia" target="_blank">Twitter.
Fighters such as Bobby Lashley and Rolles Gracie previously were rumored for the slot, but it'll instead go to 37-year-old Rizzo.
The June 21 event, which is expected to be an M-1 show, takes place at the Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. It'll likely air on pay-per-view.
Emelianenko recently competed overseas, where he picked up victories over Jeff Monson and Satoshi Ishii in late 2011.
Rizzo made his MMA debut nearly 16 years ago. The Brazilian now returns to the cage after a two-year layoff. Most recently, he picked up a pair of TKO victories over Gary Goodridge and Ken Shamrock in 2010.
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Twitter feedback to the announcement was thus far unenthusiastic.
evgeni kogan @evgenikogan
Breaking!!! #Vadimjustannounced Fedor's opponent for June 21 is Pedro 'The Rock' Rizzo!!
Tengo Tengo @tengoo
omg, this is shame fir Fedor... Cant belive it, vadim destroying fedor...
Mike C Mike C @blacklabel67k
Not blaming you, you're just the messenger. But this fight is a joke. Fedor fans are disappointing everywhere.
Lachlan Harrison Lachlan Harrison @LachDeprivation
Darren Jensen Darren Jensen @GritAndMettle
Fedor belongs in the UFC
Manfred Manfred @HurrkaDurrp
Fedor needs to be in the UFC. I believe he can still do big things in the HW div. but that's where he'll fight the best.
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