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Scott Coker: Fedor Emelianenko is “Gonna Have to Perform” in July Return

Written by Tom Ngo
March 24th, 2011
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Strikeforce Fedor Emelianenko Eye

According to Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, fans can expect to see Fedor Emelianenko back in action later this summer. Although “The Last Emperor” stakes claim to the most decorated resume in the division, Coker states “he’s gonna have to perform” in his next outing.

“Fedor’s gonna fight sometime in July,” Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker told Sherdog. “It’s probably toward the end of July or mid-July, but we have fights with Fedor that we’re gonna honor and continue forward.

“We’re gonna do the co-branding exercise that we do with M-1 every time we do fights with them.”

Emelianenko was last seen getting dismantled by Antonio Silva in the opening round of Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix. While the tourney is technically a single-elimination, Coker claims his biggest meal ticket is still in play.

“The opponent has not been chosen, but I think having Fedor involved close to the tournament as an alternate is definitely a possibility,” he stated. “I think this next one’s gonna be very important. He’s gonna have to perform.”

Although he hinted at retirement following last month’s defeat, it’s been reported Emelianenko still has three fights remaining on his Strikeforce deal. Coker hopes the 34-year-old will fulfill his commitment, but as customary with the soft-spoken promoter, he’s taking it one fight at a time.

“You gotta perform. I think he did a good job against Silva, and that worked out the way it did, but he’s still a competitive fighter that can compete at the highest level on any given Saturday night,” Coker said in closing.

Strikeforce currently have no shows booked for the month of July. They will resume the second-leg of their HW GP on June 18th.

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