Fedor Emelianenko to fight in Russia

Updated: February 22, 2011, 2:21 PM ET
By Josh Gross | ESPN.com

Two weeks after a New Jersey Athletic Control Board physician called a halt to Fedor Emelianenko's fight with Antonio Silva because the 34-year-old Russian's right eye was swollen shut from punches, the former top-ranked heavyweight will participate in his home country's national championship for Combat Sambo.

Evgeni Kogan, director of operations for M-1 Global, Emelianenko's managerial and promotional company, told ESPN.com on Tuesday that "Fedor's in, definitively."

Emelianenko's participation in Combat Sambo, a Russian military system that much like mixed martial arts allows for striking and grappling, ignores a 90-day medical suspension issued by the NJACB for head strikes following the loss to Silva, which came in the opening round of Strikeforce's world grand prix heavyweight tournament.

The state regulatory agency also prohibited Emelianenko from fighting pending a CT scan of his head and facial bones.

Representatives for Emelianenko did not respond to questions about the heavyweight's decision to compete despite athletic commission medical suspensions.

The NJACB did not immediately respond to inquires regarding the potential consequences of Emelianenko's participation in the tournament.

The event in St. Petersburg, Russia, takes place Feb. 26-27 and features five weight categories. Emelianenko is a four-time world champion.

Josh Gross covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.

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