It looks like the day has finally come. WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko will be making his highly anticipated return to competition as he takes on middleweight Gegard Mousasi at “M-1 Global: Breakthrough.” Ok, so it’s not exactly an MMA bout, but an exhibition grappling match isn’t too bad.
M-1 was hoping to add some much-needed star power to their HDNet broadcast, particularly after main event fighter Don Frye pulled out of his scrap against “King” Mo Lawal late last week.
Emelianenko and Mousasi will compete in a match-up similar to the one Emelianenko had against lightweight Shinya Aoki back in April. That “exhibition sparring match” was held at an M-1 Challenge show last April and was largely an informal and friendly affair.
Obviously, neither fighter’s record will be affected by the upcoming tango since it won’t be held under traditional MMA rules and will have no judges.
Mousasi’s participation in the Russian-run promotion will depend on his health, as he will be challenging Strikeforce champ Renato “Babalu” Sobral for his strap this weekend at the “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg” show.
In addition, M-1 has announced that Mark Kerr will be subbing in for Frye in the August 28th event, which will now be taking place inside the Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Missouri instead of the Los Angeles Convention Center as initially planned.
“Kerr at one time was one of the best fighters on the planet,” M-1 Global vice president of live events Joe Kelly said. “His fall from grace was documented publicly on the popular HBO documentary ‘The Smashing Machine.’
“A lot of people have written Mark Kerr off but if he’s able to beat Lawal on national television, suddenly he becomes a hot commodity again. Mark was already in training for a fight when we contacted him and I’m not exactly sure how hard Don was training. This will actually be a tougher fight for Lawal.”
Lawal will be making his U.S. debut at the upcoming show, however has posted a 4-0 record with World Victory Road’s Sengoku promotion in Japan. Now, the former Division I collegiate All-American wrestler looks to showcase his talents on his own home turf.
The 40-year-old Kerr was once one of the sport’s most feared competitors after starting out his MMA career with a perfect 12-0 record. However since 2000, Kerr is an awful 2-9 and has lost his past four contests.