After months of anticipation, the worldâ€™s No. 1 heavyweight and pound-for-pound Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, Fedor â€śThe Last Emperorâ€ť Emelianenko (31-1), will make his eagerly awaited return to the cage to face two-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion and top-ranked superstar Fabricio â€śVai Cavaloâ€ť Werdum (13-4) in a STRIKEFORCE and M-1 GLOBAL co-promoted event at HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. on Saturday, June 26, live on SHOWTIMEÂ® at 10 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).
The Fedor-Werdum match will headline an event which will feature up to five televised fights on SHOWTIME and several non-televised undercard bouts that will be announced in the coming weeks.
A special pre-sale ticket purchase opportunity for the event will take place for â€śSTRIKEFORCE Insiderâ€ť e-newsletter subscribers (http://strikeforce.com/insider.html) from 10 a.m. PT Monday, May 10, until 10 p.m. PT on Thursday, May 13. Insiders will receive an e-newsletter with the pre-sale code.
Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. PT on Friday, May 14, at the HP Pavilion box office, all Ticketmaster locations (800) 745-3000, Ticketmaster online (www.ticketmaster.com) as well as www.strikeforce.com. For more information, please also visit www.M-1GLOBAL.com.
For M-1 GLOBALâ€™s Fedor, it is a means of gaining revenge three and a half years after the 32-year-old Werdum defeated Fedorâ€™s brother Aleksander Emelianenko, via submission (arm triangle choke) in the first round (3:24) of a bout in Rotterdam, Holland, on Nov. 12, 2006.
The M-1 GLOBAL superstar is simply referred to as â€śFedorâ€ť by millions of fans around the world. He stands at 6-foot, 235-pounds and hails from Stary Oskol, Russia. He has become the most dominant MMA fighter of all-time since he began his professional career 10 years ago.
Fedor is one of the founders of M-1 GLOBAL and has competed for the organization since its inception more than two years ago. The 33-year-old has faced and defeated nearly every other rival superstar and champion of this era, including Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mirko â€śCro Copâ€ť Filipovic, Andrei Arlovski and Mark â€śThe Hammerâ€ť Coleman.
A master of the Russian military combat system, Sambo, Fedor made his live, primetime network television (CBS) debut in his last start on Nov. 7, 2009, when he faced unbeaten rising star Brett â€śThe Grimâ€ť Rogers in a STRIKEFORCE and M-1 Global co-promoted event. After a difficult first round in which he sustained a cut and began bleeding profusely, the Russian suddenly turned the tide in the second round, sending Rogers to the canvas with a right hand and finishing him with a series of punches.
While the fight world still regards him as undefeated, Fedor actually has one official loss on his record, the result of a doctor stoppage due to a cut he sustained seconds into a matchup with Japanâ€™s Tsuyoshi Kosaka on Dec. 22, 2000. Fedor avenged the TKO loss with his own first round TKO of Kosaka at a PRIDE Fighting Championships event in Japan on April 3, 2005.
Since joining the ranks of STRIKEFORCE, the 6-foot-4, 240 pound Werdum, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and member of Brazilâ€™s vaunted Chute Boxe fight squad, has notched a pair of impressive victories, the first of which came on Aug. 15, 2009 when he quickly submitted Mike â€śMakâ€ť Kyle with a guillotine choke in the first round (1:24) at HP Pavilion. The following Nov. 7, Werdum battled his way to a close unanimous decision victory over Antonio â€śBig Footâ€ť Silva in a live CBS primetime televised matchup.
During an eight-year tenure in MMA, Werdum has conquered a number of other superstars, including reigning STRIKEFORCE World Heavyweight Champion, Alistair â€śThe Demolition Manâ€ť Overeem; and UFC stars Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon â€śThe Truthâ€ť Vera.