The upstart Rizin Fighting Federation made the announcement during a news conference. Emelianenko (34-4), regarded by most as one of the greatest heavyweights in MMA history, will face Singh (1-0), a kickboxer from India with just one MMA fight on his resume.
The 38-year-old Emelianenko started planning a return to MMA earlier this year after a 2012 retirement, leading many to suggest that the Russian fighting legend could finally make his way to the UFC. Then there was speculation he would go to Bellator.
But instead, he signed with Rizin for his comeback, a promotion started by former PRIDE president Nobuyuki Sakakibara. In September, Sakakibara appeared on the Spike broadcast for Bellator 142, along with Emelianenko, to announce that he will return to the world of MMA, and his new promotion’s first event will take place New Year’s Eve in Tokyo with Emelianenko in the main event. Bellator broadcast partner Spike has exclusive U.S. rights to the event.