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Boxing icon Mike Tyson is said to be in negotiations for a return to the ring in Saudi Arabia later this year. 

The former world heavyweight champion, 57, who fought to a draw in an exhibition against Roy Jones Jr. in 2020, is rumoured to be engaging in discussions over a potential bout against the record MMA fighter Fedor Emelianenko, the Daily Mail said on Thursday, citing a report by MMA Pack.

The report cites no further details, so take this with a pinch of salt for now. However, Saudi Arabia has aggressively inserted itself into the world of combat sports, and sports entertainment as a whole, over the course of the past few years, spending eye-watering amounts of cash to host some of the biggest sports events recently seen.

Emelianenko, meanwhile, a former PRIDE champion, officially retired from MMA last February following defeat to Bellator heavyweight champion Ryan Bader. The Russian left the sport with a record of 40-7 (and one no-contest) from a pro career that began in May 2020.

Emelianenko, who is ten years Tyson’s junior, has previously expressed an interest in boxing the former heavyweight champ.

“MMA is done, 100 percent. I’m not going back to MMA,” he told Ariel Helwani soon after he hung up his 4oz gloves for good. I want to try myself in boxing. I think that’s going to be interesting. Mike Tyson would be an interesting fight.”