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Fact, Fiction, and Fedor (update)

By now we’ve all read the ESPN.com article that claimed Fedor Emelianenko is on the verge of severing ties with M-1 Global.

After talking to numerous people this past week, I’ve learned that is indeed the case.

I was somewhat skeptical when I first read the article because it was for ESPN the Magazine, and having written for various print publications over the years, I can tell you that there is sometimes as much as a 2-3 month lag time when it comes to the time in which an article is finished and is actually published.

The rumors pertaining to Fedor’s potential departure have been swirling for several months and I had even spoken to several promotions that had claimed Emelianenko’s management team was soliciting proposals from them. However, in light of my recent CBSSports.com interview with M-1 Global CEO Monte Cox in which Cox said progress had been made between the two sides, I wasn’t sure if the ESPN article was using old quotes from when times were bad or if there had been a setback in talks.

Furthermore, in knowing that some in M-1 Global have blamed Apy Echteld as the primary reason for communication problems between the promotion and Fedor’s management, I was even more skeptical since he was quoted for the story.

However, after talking to sources connected to both sides, it’s pretty clear that there are still many issues that need to be worked out. One unnamed source even told me that they wouldn’t be surprised if Vadim Finkelstein, Fedor’s manager, even ended up trying to re-acquire the M-1 brand from Sibling Sports.

It’s still essential not to jump to conclusions. I’m reading a lot of sites that are already referring to Fedor as a free agent. He is not. In fact, a source also indicated that while unlikely, it’s still not impossible that an agreement is worked out and M-1 Global still ends up holding a show in the States this coming June that features Fedor.

So while a lot of people think they know what’s going to happen, nothing is for certain. One thing that I do believe is certain — and I don’t care how many people say it’s not out of the question — is that you will not see Fedor’s management suddenly come to an agreement with the UFC should Fedor become available again. If Fedor becomes available the real players for his services will be DREAM, Mark Cuban, and Golden Boy Promotions.

Update: If I was a betting man I’d put my money on Fedor signing with Golden Boy/Affliction. But that’s just a guess. :)

25 COMMENTS
  • mike says:

    great info sam.

  • Eric says:

    All three of those bottom bold options are real possibilities…. and four times more likely than the UFC.

  • Al says:

    So, is the Golden Boy Promotions, err… promotion a definite then? The only allusions I’ve seen to it is the unnamed company that Lindland has signed with.

  • brutus says:

    Why not EXC?

  • Jeremy says:

    Is there any chance Sam that the UFC perhaps does a one off fight between Couture and Fedor? Just so that the fight can actually take place because of all the legal issues that might slow it down from happening.

  • Ross says:

    I wonder if Fedor is getting tired of his management or if he is suffice to sit around? Its almost as if he is that 36 yr old football player trying to cash in one last time. He knows his staying power isnt forever and wants to be comfortable for the rest of his life.- I cant fault Fedor for that line of thinking as much as it ticks me off.

  • Kelvin says:

    If Fedor goes to any other promotion besides the UFC I would have to call him a coward. With the amount of money they have and will offer…and the quality of competition they offer…surely, he is more mature than a 5 year old and can get past someone saying his management team are ‘crazy russian’s’ and that they don’t think he’s top 5.

  • Hard Ass says:

    Err….What competition is UFC offering for Fedor????? He just about committed murder when he fought their HW “Champ”. There is no organization out there that offers him any person that would get through a single round with him. That being said, he’ll probablty go where he is not disrespected every other second ie…..Dana White and the UFC. I wish Dana would eat some crow and get this deal done!!!!!

  • I definitely agree. DREAM, WVR, Mark Cuban, and Golden Boy are probably more likely to sign Fedor than the UFC specifically because of the UFC’s stance on exclusivity. Fedor could sign on with DREAM on a per fight basis, same with WVR, and then fight for HDNet Fights as well non-exclusively. It works out great for him in the long run and gives him more freedom to do what he wants.

    As far as calling Fedor a free agent already, I think the fact that Monte Cox is basically in the dark in nearly every aspect that deals with Fedor is a sign that things are about to break down. Josh Gross is also using an unnamed source that has said the signing bonus is expected to be returned before Fedor lands back on the market. Whether or not that actually happens is a different story. My belief is that Fedor will sever ties with M-1 Global simply because of the poor communication between M-1 Global and Fedor’s management. Constantly having one party say one thing while another party claims the opposite just isn’t good for business.

  • Tanner says:

    Sambo’s over, give him a 3 fight 1 year deal and if he’s champ they have rights to first refusal, something like the clause tito has in contract.

  • Tanner says:

    If you’re the UFC that is.

  • Handover Fist says:

    It takes two to tango. Dana definitely has his flaws, but from the one interview Fedor’s manager gave last year it sounded like he wanted to become a major player in the UFC in return for allowing them to sign Fedor.

    All these peeps that say “Dana just needs to get it done” no matter the price, I don’t think are being very realistic. Like all MMA fans I want to see this fight but I don’t expect Dana to give in to unreasonable demands just to make it happen.

  • mike wolfe says:

    The question isn’t which org signs him. The question is which org. has the ability to sign him and then have him fight as required by his contract. He’s already burned M-1, and that should give other orgs some hestitation despite the lure of signing him.

  • brett says:

    if I remember correct, fedors mang. team wanted the ufc to sign some of the red devil members as well (which isn’t a bad thing at all). but I don’t think dana was having it. and it also had to do with the sambo thing as well. but my guess is he’s going to sign with dream. I’d be willing to bet my life.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Why not EXC?”

    The Coutures aren’t happy with EliteXC. If Randy Couture isn’t a possibility to fight for them, I doubt Fedor will. I’m also not sure EliteXC would be willing to meet Fedor’s numerous requests.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “So, is the Golden Boy Promotions, err… promotion a definite then?”

    Pretty much. And don’t be surprised if HBO signs on to televise their cards.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “Is there any chance Sam that the UFC perhaps does a one off fight between Couture and Fedor?”

    Jeremy, theoretically, ANYTHING is possible. I just don’t see the UFC and Fedor’s team coming to an accord of any kind as a realistic possibility. In order for a deal between the UFC and Fedor’s management to happen, one side would have to cave in regards to their demands. I just don’t see how that will happen.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    “If Fedor goes to any other promotion besides the UFC I would have to call him a coward.”

    C’mon man, a coward? Fedor? That’s not right.

  • brutus says:

    Thanks for the answers and the update Sam. Great info if it turns out true.

  • Sam Cupitt says:

    Fedors management needs to take a video of Fedor in combat sambo to the negotiation table and show the UFC how little danger Fedor is in.

    I know that’s probably only one of many sticking points but it would at least be a start. Seriously, if there was legitimate threat to Fedor in Sambo he’d already have been signed by a major organisation.

  • Kelvin says:

    ““If Fedor goes to any other promotion besides the UFC I would have to call him a coward.”

    C’mon man, a coward? Fedor? That’s not right.”

    IMHO..he would be.

  • Jeremy says:

    “Jeremy, theoretically, ANYTHING is possible. I just don’t see the UFC and Fedor’s team coming to an accord of any kind as a realistic possibility. In order for a deal between the UFC and Fedor’s management to happen, one side would have to cave in regards to their demands. I just don’t see how that will happen.”

    Gotcha, obviously if relations are strained that much between the two then I guess it’s a pipe dream. But for just one fight I would think the contract issues they had earlier would be irrelevant since Fedor would only be fighting once. That’s what I was generally hoping for, just to get the Couture fight to happen.

  • Sam Caplan says:

    Jeremy, I agree, I’d love to see Couture vs. Fedor happen, and I’d love to see it in the UFC because I don’t think there’s a company in the sport that could do a better job of promoting that fight.

  • ctownhood says:

    Great..so now Fedor can sign with another org that has no one even in the same league as him, so he can run through them all uncontested, and we’ll still never see the Couture – Fedor matchup everyone wants.

  • Rauhski says:

    The real question here is… If the UFC can get a deal done with Fedor, will Randy come back to fight him? If Randy does want to come back and fight him, which is very unlikely at this point, does Nog has the first shot a Randy?
    How can the UFC give Fedor the title shot against Randy? I’m interested to here your opinions on this.

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