World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo has revealed that he was offered the New Year’s Eve, Rizin Fighting Federation fight against Fedor Emelianenko.
“The opportunity to fight him was actually offered to me, I think five weeks out from the actual New Year’s Eve fight,” Sefo wrote on WSOF.com. “I was honored, but I told the guys, ‘Listen, that fight, I would love to have. He’s a legend in this sport. Win or lose for me, it would be amazing to get in there.'”
Sefo holds a 2-2 professional MMA record and an even more impressive professional kickboxing record but felt he would need more time to prepare for “The Last Emporer.”
“But at the same time, I said, ‘Five weeks is not enough for me to prepare for someone like Fedor. He’s a guy that I don’t want to just jump in there. That’s disrespectful to him and disrespectful to myself.’”
Instead, Emelianenko forced Jaideep Singh to tap to punches 3:02 into the opening round of their heavyweight clash in Japan on Dec. 31.
“I can get ready to fight a kickboxing fight in five weeks. But for me to fight an MMA fight, I want at least 10 weeks to get ready for it,” Sefo wrote. “So five weeks wasn’t enough for me to take that fight, and we turned it down. But if that fight was ever offered to me, and I was offered 10 weeks to get ready for it, I would take it in a heartbeat.”
Emelianenko revealed that he would likely fight again in April for Rizin. Whether Sefo gets offered another shot at Fedor remains to be seen.
“Perhaps that chance will come again next year, as it seems like Fedor’s new promotion, Rizin, will return in April. If not, I would love to see our heavyweight champion, Blagoy Ivanov, fight Fedor this year,” Sefo said. “Blagoy famously defeated Fedor in combat sambo during the height of The Last Emperor’s run as the greatest heavyweight in the sport of MMA. That history between the two is intriguing, and this could be the perfect time for them to fight in MMA.”