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Old 04-21-2010, 09:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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M-1 on Fedor's Return: Ball in Strikeforce’s Court

M-1 on Fedor's Return: Ball in Strikeforce’s Court

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
by Loretta Hunt (lhunt@sherdog.com)

http://www.sherdog.com/news/news/M-1...es-Court-24017



M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelchstein told Sherdog.com on Tuesday that it was Strikeforce who was delaying a renegotiation process between the two promotions that would greenlight the return of the world’s No. 1 heavyweight, Fedor Emelianenko, to the Strikeforce cage.

Sherdog.com had reported March 9 that both promotions were nearing the closure of a revised co-promotional agreement to hold additional events together in the U.S., following their inaugural Nov. 7 venture Strikeforce M-1 Global “Fedor vs. Rogers,” which aired live on CBS to four million viewers.

M-1 Global, a promotional and management company based out of Holland and Russia, approached Strikeforce in late December or early January to revise the three-event contract they’d signed with the American promotion last August. Part of that deal included the participation of the nearly unblemished Emelianenko, who has been coveted and courted by every major fight promotion, including the UFC.

However, as of late April, the two parties have appeared to have come to an impasse. M-1’s reps insisted Tuesday that any burden in the stalled deal didn’t lie with them.

“In the renegotiations, we’re not asking for anything new at all that wasn’t already there in our original agreement,” said Finkelchstein through the translation of Evgeni Kogan, M-1 Global’s director of operations. “We’re not looking for anything additional to that.

“There are certain clauses in that agreement which haven’t been lived up to,” continued Finkelchstein. “In one of these clauses was co-promotion, and given that M-1 spent a significantly larger amount of money on the first show than did Strikeforce, we would like to see something along the lines of a number of M-1 fighters fighting on the M-1 Strikeforce show, the main show, the undercard, etc.”

Finkelchstein said M-1 fighter participation was one of the terms in the original agreement that wasn’t fulfilled. Finkelchstein also shot down Internet rumors that M-1’s newest demands were monetary in nature.

“It’s been written on the Internet that M-1 is trying to re-negotiate for more money,” said Finkelchstein. “This is not the case. … We’re asking for changes to language in the contract in a way, which makes it necessary to adhere to the original agreement.”

In March, M-1 Global laid blame for their dissatisfaction with the Nov. 7 event mostly with the media, and not their U.S. partners. When asked Tuesday if M-1 Global now believed Strikeforce to be in breach of the co-promotional contract, Finkelchstein again pointed to the lengthy renegotiation period.

“Again, it is not us who is stretching this process out. It’s the other side…,” said Finkelchstein. “No, we don’t, at this point, consider Strikeforce to be in breach of the terms. … Certain things were not done that could have been done. A lot of excuses were made as to why they weren’t done.”

Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker declined to comment specifically on M-1’s remarks, and said that negotiations are ongoing. Coker said that it is Strikeforce’s policy to not negotiate in the media.

“We look forward to the fight on June 26 with Fedor along with our joint-venture partners, M-1, pursuant to our agreement with them,” Coker told Sherdog.com through a representative.

Emelianenko, who knocked out Brett Rogers in the second round at Strikeforce M-1 Global’s “Fedor vs. Rogers” on Nov. 7 outside Chicago, was first said to be making his promotional return against former UFC contender Fabricio Werdum on April 17 in Nashville, Tenn. But when a new agreement was not reached, Strikeforce’s Coker voiced his intentions to reschedule the bout on a yet-to-be-announced card on June 26 at the HP Pavilion on San Jose, Calif.

“From our point of view, we’re waiting for the decision of, primarily, Scott (Coker) and Strikeforce, but also that of Showtime, and basically delivering in the relationship, going forward, that which was promised to us in the first place,” said Finkelchstein.

Asked to clarify Showtime’s involvement, if any, in the renegotiations, Finkelchstein would only say that the cable network, which regularly airs Strikeforce events, had “an interest” in the talks between the two promotions, and that specifics of the contract could not be discussed due to the nature of the agreement.

Finkelchstein stated that the 33-year-old Emelianenko would have been able to participate in Strikeforce “Nashville” last Saturday, and said the June 26 date was possible for the revered heavyweight.

“Basically, everything’s possible. This (decision) doesn’t depend on us at all,” said Finkelchstein. “The ball is in their court. Fedor is in good shape. He’s constantly training to keep his form up. He needs around a month and a half warning before a potential fight and he’ll be able to fight. So the 26th of June is not a problem.”

Finkelchstein said that, at this point, there was no deadline Strikeforce would need to make to ensure Emelianenko is prepared for the June 26 show.

“Peak-level training begins about five to six weeks out,” said Finkelchstein, “but that depends on how (Emelianenko) has been training (beforehand).”

Finkelchstein said Emelianenko was anxious to fight again soon.

“Fedor is frustrated. He’s upset that he hasn’t been given the ability to fight,” said Finkelchstein. “Again, the (delay) to make the fight happen, hasn’t been on us. It’s been on the other side. Because of their refusal to agree on giving us what was promised in the (contract) signed, the fight hasn’t happened.”

Finkelchstein also addressed persistent rumblings that M-1 officials have been secretly meeting and negotiating with the UFC for the last two months behind closed doors.

“Neither myself nor the M-1 company is in negotiations whatsoever with the UFC,” said Finkelchstein. “There’s nothing going on between us and the UFC, except that (UFC President) Dana (White’s) obvious interest in Fedor from all of the interviews which he’s done, is making rather a splash. Of course, we hear about it in Russia all of the time.”

Finkelchstein reiterated their goal to come to a swift resolution with Strikeforce.

“We are continuing negotiations in good faith with Strikeforce,” said Finkelchstein. “We’re not asking for anything other than what we were promised initially. … What we want is simply a 50-50 (relationship). We don’t want a repeat of the November 7 show, which for all intents and purposes looked like a Strikeforce show. We want to be 50-50 partners. We want this to be a proper fully fledged co-promotion.”
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am so sick and tired of M-1.

There isnt anyone in MMA I hate more than that parasitic organization.

I feel so bad for Fedor for getting involved with these losers. Too bad he doesnt feel the same way.
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Old 04-22-2010, 04:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Vadim is right if you sign a contract you must stick to it and I think Coker will make adjustments this time
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JimmyJames View Post
I am so sick and tired of M-1.

There isnt anyone in MMA I hate more than that parasitic organization.

I feel so bad for Fedor for getting involved with these losers. Too bad he doesnt feel the same way.
Bad part is I think he owns 10% of M-1 global if memory serves me right.
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't see what the big deal is if Coker has been all about the co-promotion to see the best fights. It just really sucks that they can't hurry this sh*t along a little bit. Coker has had a lot to deal with in the last little bit thought.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Bad part is I think he owns 10% of M-1 global if memory serves me right.
This is correct. What a horrible business decision on his part.
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Vadim is right if you sign a contract you must stick to it and I think Coker will make adjustments this time
^this^

He is still a douchebag, but can't blame him for wanting the contract that they made to be honored.
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It doesn't even make sense. If Fedor came to the UFC and won a title at any point in his career with the UFC hype machine behind him it would make him 10 times the household name he could ever hope to be fighting in the bushleagues. Even if he decided to leave the UFC thereafter with a loss on his record or not and he and M1 went promotion hopping (hostaging) again, he would come out of it with a much larger fanbase and potential for earnings.

This doesn't make sense from the standpoint of his legacy or his business.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Coosh View Post
It doesn't even make sense. If Fedor came to the UFC and won a title at any point in his career with the UFC hype machine behind him it would make him 10 times the household name he could ever hope to be fighting in the bushleagues. Even if he decided to leave the UFC thereafter with a loss on his record or not and he and M1 went promotion hopping (hostaging) again, he would come out of it with a much larger fanbase and potential for earnings.

This doesn't make sense from the standpoint of his legacy or his business.
It does make sense long term from a business standpoint. Boxers make huge numbers from their fights because they also own or partly own the promotion. Promoters make more than fighters so if you can do both you make the most. I assume that is what Fedor is trying to do. If SF doesn't grow significantly it won't work out for him but I can understand why he might do this.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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at this point, who cares??

Strikefarce should let him go to japan and sign with dream and fight even bigger jokes.

its not like anybody but m1 makes $ off Fedor. you go broke with Fedor. dont ppl get that yet?
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