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Fedor Emelianenko's first opponent revealed for New Year's Eve return to MMA

Joe Corrigan/Getty Images

Whoop! Whoop! That's the sound of Singh Jaideep!

Former PRIDE FC heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko has apparently found an opponent for his mixed martial arts (MMA) return, as the Indian-Japanese heavyweight kickboxer -- just 1-0 in MMA -- will step up to challenge the "Last Emperor" on New Year's Eve in Japan.

An official announcement is expected on Thursday, according to Ariel Helwani, with the fight airing on Spike TV (via tape delay) for stateside audiences.

Sorry, no Kimbo for you.

Jaideep, 28, is 40-11 in kickboxing but lost his last three fights inside the ring, including a technical knockout defeat to the unheralded Fatih Ulusoy in early 2014. That's likely to raise a few questions about the quality of opposition for a fighter many consider to be the highest paid greatest heavyweight of all time.

So basically, this is everything we feared when Emelianenko passed on UFC.

The upstart fight promotion, backed by former PRIDE head cheese Nobuyuki Sakakibara, will stage a series of events over the course of three days (Dec. 29-31) in "The Land of the Rising Sun," according to the report, which includes a catchweight bout pitting Shinya Aoki vs. Kazushi Sakuraba.


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