ESPN "The Magazine" of all places is running a report that Fedor Emelianenko -- considered among many as the top heavyweight fighter in mixed martial arts -- will be a free agent again within the next week and will entertain offers from the UFC.
Here's a snip from the Russian's long-time manager, Apy Echteld:
"Officially, yes, Fedor will be a free agent.... We're open to a discussion [with UFC]. If everybody is willing to put a little wine in the water, then we have something to work with. There is space for this to happen."
Emelianenko opted to sign with the newly-formed M-1 promotion in late 2007 instead of competing inside the Octagon. That decision prompted UFC Heavyweight Champion, Randy Couture, to fax in his resignation from a South African movie set.
"The Natural" indicated -- and still does -- that the only fighter left to prove himself against is the Pride FC heavyweight champion. He's currently in the midst of an intense legal battle with the UFC about his decision and actions ever since.
Here's a snip from UFC President Dana White:
"People think he's the best — I don't, not even close. But if it's somehow possible, I would make it happen.... I like Randy, I genuinely like to think he's a good guy. As much as we've gone back and forth on this, I would sign Fedor and do everything possible to get Randy in the Octagon with him. I'd do anything, because a., it's a great fight and b., I think Randy would smash Fedor."
M-1 has yet to stage a show and there's talk that infighting between the Russian side of the operation and the American side has hindered its progress. Emelianenko, however, was loaned out to fight Hong Man Choi at the Yarennoka! Japan event this past New Year's Eve, winning via submission (armbar) in round one.
This is the latest bizarre development in perhaps the most bizarre MMA storyline of all time. The storybook ending, after all that has transpired, would be a showdown between Couture and Emelianenko under the UFC banner.
But can the fight, if it ever happens, even come close to living up to the lofty expectations?
We may never know ... or will we? There's apparently no end in sight for this rollercoaster ride. Or is there?
Anything seems possible at this point.