M-1 Global president Vadim Finkelstein released the following statement regarding Randy Couture's recent signing with the UFC:
I believe Randy knows what heís doing. Heís an awesome athlete, one of the worldís best. I know he got tired of these endless litigations and uncertainty that arose after his resignation. UFC had Randy in the contractual trap so he had to choose an easier solution to the problem.
As for his potential bout with Fedor Ė all the MMA fans are eager to see this happen. The statements mister White still makes about Fedor alert me. It looks as if White is reluctant to let the best fighter in the world fight the UFC symbol. Iím afraid weíll stumble upon the bricks of the UFC monopoly and the negotiations will lead nowhere. This fight the fans await might never materialize.
Randy has proved long time ago to be Americaís number 1, heís got nothing more to prove but this contract brings him back to the position where he has again to fight younger athetes in order to earn the right heís already earned to face the best. Randy is a mature fighter and putting him to the test now and again seems not quite reasonable to me. Everyone wants to see Fedor vs. Randy. Apparently Dana plans to destroy Randy by signing him to three bouts. White believes that Couture wonít pass through the hard trial without loss so that eventually the champion will stay with the UFC. Randy is 45 and he defeated a lot of great adversaries but now he is set to face some upstart athlete who Dana intends to turn into the national star if he pulls the victory against the long-time hero. Fight is fight and anything can happen. All this reminds me of the PRIDE situation when the organization was bought out with the sole goal of completely destroying it.
Thatís why it looks like there will be no Randy-Fedor fight ever although we are eager to make it happen, both fighters are eager to get it on.
Fedor is the number one fighter in the world and we always try to give him the bouts against the best opponents while all the statements of White doubting Fedorís status are caused by the awareness of the fact that the power of the UFC in the world of MMA is not overwhelming. They canít own every fighter they covet. UFC is very well-known and possesses lionís share in MMA industry because of its history and popularity accumulated during the years that the organization exists.
In our turn we negotiate a longterm collaboration with Affliction. We build a global project helping fighters from all over the world gain fame. Thatís why we launched international M-1 Challenge. We want to organize huge events in order to promote MMA and make it popular in the whole world and not in the context of one particular country. We work hard on achieving the goals we set and time will tell whose path was right.