Source: Fedor's U.S. debut will be at Sears Center in Hoffman Estates

2009-09-18T11:50:00Z Source: Fedor's U.S. debut will be at Sears Center in Hoffman EstatesMATT ERICKSON, matt.erickson@nwi.com, (219) 933-3275 nwitimes.com
September 18, 2009 11:50 am  • 

The mixed martial arts world was aflutter when Fedor Emelianenko, regarded by many as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, signed with Strikeforce earlier this summer.

Fedor signed with the organization after negotiations with the Ultimate Fighting Championship fell through when Fedor's management team with M-1 Global insisted on co-promoting with the UFC.

On Thursday, Strikeforce announced that Fedor's debut with the organization will come Nov. 7 and will be nationally televised in prime time on CBS after a deal between the network and fight promotion was announced at the same time.

Sources told The Times Thursday afternoon and confirmed Friday morning that Fedor's Strikeforce debut will be at the Sears Centre in northwest suburban Hoffman Estates, Ill.

The Sears Centre seats more than 11,000, depending on the layout, and has hosted MMA events in the past, including the debut of Adrenaline MMA in 2008.

On Nov. 7, the other typical Chicago venues for such events are already booked. The United Center has a Bulls game booked. Allstate Arena in Rosemont hosts the Ringling Bros. circus.

Messages to representatives of the Sears Centre and Strikeforce went unreturned early Friday afternoon. The Illinois Athletic Commission's Web site does not yet list a confirmed license for a Nov. 7 Strikeforce show in the state. A source close to the parties involved told The Times that could happen as early as Friday.

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