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Trump’s endorsement of “Fighting Fedor” gives show a shot at reality

New York, NY – The announcement that M-1 Global officials were moving ahead with a reality television vehicle featuring former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko has been known for several months. As such, Thursday’s press conference at the Trump Tower in the heart of New York to “announce” Fighting Fedor is a “go” was hardly an Earth-shattering event.

However, seeing celebrity millionaire Donald Trump front and center as the project’s unofficial show-runner at the start of the presser has brought a new dimension to the concept.

Just how involved he’ll be with the show’s pitch remains to be seen, but Trump can still be a tremendous asset even if his role proves to be nothing more than that as of figurehead. Having the Trump name involved may have already proved to be a game changer, as reporters from NBC Sports, FOX News, Extra, and several other major media outlets will bring the project added exposure in the U.S. thanks to Trump’s presence at the presser.

The show, a creation of former PRIDE USA Vice President and current M-1 Global Vice President Jerry Millen, is already drawing interest from “huge” players within the U.S. television landscape, according to both Millen and M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelstein.

Finkelstein, who doubles as Fedor’s manager, indicated that they are already analyzing offers and that they expect to make a decision “soon” about which television outlets they’ll partner with.

While a U.S. distribution partner is still unknown, a few new details came to light during the course of the press conference.

Despite the fact that casting heavyweight hopefuls is a difficult task reflected by the fact that the UFC hasn’t touched the weight class on The Ultimate Fighter since season two, Millen told that the show will be casting fighters from the U.S., Russia, Japan, Brazil, and many other countries as well. By selecting from a Global talent pool, M-1 officials expressed confidence that they will be able to put together a solid field of talent and Millen revealed to us that he’s been contacted by several well-known fighters looking for a shot at being on the show.

The show will be filmed out of the Red Devil gym in St. Petersburg, Russia, with the gym lacking many of the creature comforts that U.S. fans have become accustomed to seeing on TUF. The date in which the show will begin production has yet to be finalized, but Millen indicated that the show could begin filming as early as April.

Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio also stated that the winner of the show will receive their shot at Fedor during an Affliction-promoted event. He also indicated that the show could be used as a “feeder” with eliminated fighters from the show that make a strong impression possibly fighting for Affliction in the future.

  • brett says:

    great, we can tune in week after week to see fedor smash some can

  • jdavis says:

    Gee if Jerry Millen and Vadim Finkelstein say that there is lots of interest from “huge” players in the media market then it must be true…………..

  • dpk says:

    Does anyone want to see the winner of TUF, get his next fight for a title, um, no. (Let’s face, everyone bitched about season 4 when it happened, and those were more established fighters). I am really curious to see who they get to sign up. I just have a feeling that we are going to see a mix of Yamma, and TUF, with old guys and new guys all who have no business in the ring with Fedor.

    I’m not real interested in this show, but I’ll wait to here more details before passing final judgement.

  • stuck at work says:

    Its actually pretty funny that they are actually going through with this, you know aside from the can crushing, freak show aspect. Fedor seems to just be greedy and his managers are worse. Its really a lose lose situation for him. I doubt many legitimate heavyweights will 1) either be allowed on the show or 2) be willing to go on the show. Those both lead to what makes it a lose-lose situation. I mean, sure he is getting added exposure, but that’s debatable depending on what network airs the show, and aside from that Fedor ends up either smashing the king of the cans, or in some bizarre freak accident, ends up losing to the king of the cans. Either way, it either does nothing for him, or it ruins him.

    Also, noone currently under Affliction’s banner will be on the show, so no Barnett, Arlovski, Nelson, Rothwell, or Sylvia, and we all no UFC heavies are going to be on the show. The show is going to be filled with guys like Ruben Villareal, Jimmy Ambriz, and maybe if we are lucky, Ricco. In any case, its a total waste of time.

  • Jason G says:

    lol maybe the cast consist of rizzo, monson, arlovski, nelson, barnett, kimbo, seth petruzelli, kalib starnes, andy wang…

  • stuck at work says:

    And once the the Shamrocks finish fighting, M-1 will want to have Fedor fight Aleks, right? Fedor will make Aleks bleed on him and catch the hep. Then both will be banned from fighting in the US for the rest of their careers. Who am I kidding, Aleks is almost a real opponent, they would never let that fight happen, although it is sufficiently freak show for Fedor…

  • Simon Cason says:

    What amazes me is when he said ” but Trump can still be a tremendous asset even if his role proves to be nothing more than that as of figurehead.”

    Hasn’t Dump been associated with Afflicted since its inception? And since that time what has he done of any significance. Dump really isn’t this Giant that everyone(including himself) would like you to believe. I don’t see this as anything of any importance in the MMA world. Somebody said above “does anyone want to see the winner of TUF get a title shot” and the answer is an emphatic FUCK NO!!!

  • Mike Ringer says:

    I think when you’re promoting a show that’s so far on the bottom, like this one will be, that yes Donald Trump’s name will prove to be an asset.

    Of course at this point it would be an asset even if Ronald McDonald was affiliated with it.

    This is going to be a circus freak show.

  • Ken says:

    trump is just another paid endorsement for affliction. it’s obviously working well.

  • DamonO says:

    The only thing that Trump is good for is business and money. Seeing his name pasted on Affliction does nothing for me. It certainly doesn’t make me think “Ohhh these guys are going somewhere now that Trump is involved!” You can throw money into a burning fire pit all day long if you want. I hope all of this is successful I truly do because it’s good for the sport to have more successful organizations than the UFC.

  • Darrel Smith Jr says:

    Randy Couture should sign on for the show.


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