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UFC responds to Fedor signing with Strikeforce

On July 24th, 2009, Affliction Entertainment ceased all promotional operations and dumped its roster of fighters to focus on clothing and to return to the UFC sponsor list. The following roster dump has led to the biggest shift in the MMA landscape since the purchase and subsequent dismantling of the former UFC rival organization PRIDE. Although, the UFC missed out on the one signing they have been pressured to make by media and fans everywhere.

As free agent after free agent were gobbled up, the highest profile of the bunch, Fedor Emelianenko, was standing firm to a co-promotional clause which led to intense negotiations with all parties involved. The UFC was the front runner with the highest paying contract and the most competitive heavyweight division in MMA, however refused to allow the Russian stand-out’s management team, and struggling MMA organization M-1 Global, to co-promote the event. This left few options for Emelianenko, but after negotiations with Strikeforce and one stroke of the pen, Scott Coker laid claim to the biggest free agent in MMA history.

Dana White may have seen the tables turn on him, as he acquired the services of many former Affliction fighters while Coker was on vacation in Italy. After seeing all the names going to the UFC, Coker returned home and to the negotiating table to begin talks with anyone left unsigned, which included Fedor. The tables turned when Dana White left for Abu Dhabi, and he had to find out that the door had finally been closed on the possibility of Fedor in the octagon, and for less money.

As much as White wanted and tried for the services of the undefeated heavyweight, he was unable to get the job done, leaving him with a bad taste in his mouth. White has since made a statement to Cagewriter.com regarding the deal and has left no question as to how he feels, “I’m in Abu Dhabi right now and my reaction is Fedor is a [expletive] joke,” White exclaimed angrily. “[He] turns down a huge deal and the opportunity to face the best in the world to fight nobodies, for no money. Fedor is a [expletive]!”

The UFC boasts a heavyweight division that is widely regarded as the best in the world and the perfect proving grounds for Emelianenko. Since the recent years of his career have been plagued by criticisms of his opponents and being inactive for long periods between fights, some feel he is plummeting in value and respect among fans and peers.

Dana White seems to have the same opinion as evidence by follow-up statements made to Cagewriter via text message, “I feel sorry for the real fans! I wanted to make the deal but it takes two and it is VERY obvious Fedor doesn’t want to fight the best and doesn’t give a [expletive] about the fans.”

White and UFC fans may have to wait until the expiration of Emelianenkos’ contract with his management M-1 Global, which expires in 3 fights, before they can even consider acquiring the services of Fedor free and clear of any conditions with M-1 Global.

20 COMMENTS
  • Djangoplata says:

    Dana White is a lying piece of shit.

  • Jak says:

    “and struggling MMA organization M-1 Global, to co-promote the event.”

    Out of curiosity, is M-1 really struggling? serious question, really don’t know.

  • big_9_er says:

    Sounds like someone is very jealous of Dana’s success huh Djangoplata?
    Don’t be a hater.

  • EdBuzz says:

    As an MMA fan I am disappointed that Fedor isn’t a part of the UFC and that we won’t see him fighting the best fighters in the world. As an MMA fan, I like what Fedor is doing because I believe it will eventually lead to all MMA fighters making more money than the UFC is currently paying them. They hauled in $87 million in pay per view money alone and paid the fighters a total of $2million for UFC 100. That is $85 million for Dana White and the Fertitta’s and $2 million for all the fighters combined to split for UFC 100. Now you tell me, is that fair? The NBA, NFL and MLB split total revenues with the players union on a 50/50 split, NBA is a 60/40 split where the players haul in 60% and the owners haul in 40%. The UFC prides itself as the fastest growing sport, yet pays their fighters next to nothing. Most of us would watch Lesnar vs. Mir over De La Hoya vs. Mayweather Jr.

    Brock Lesnar made $445,000 for his victory over Frank Mir. Frank Mir made $45,000 and he was a part of the main event. De La Hoya made $30,000,000 and Mayweather Jr. made $27,000,000

    It’s no wonder Fedor and his management want more of the pie. They realize Fedor is the most exciting fighter currently today in all the world in combat sports. Fedor is no dummy and sees the money that’s generated by these successful pay per view promotions. He’s smart to want more money and hopefully it should lead to all MMA fighters making more money.

    Do you know that Anthony Johnson and Jon Jones, two of the up and coming stars in the UFC, received less than $20,000 for their victories during UFC 100? That is criminal. I love watching the UFC but the money they are making and the money they are paying the fighters is an oppressive situation and short of the UFC having a competing organization willing to offer more money to get MMA fighters to come over to their organization, the fighters will never make the money they deserve. It’s too bad the UFC has to wait until someone else offers their fighters more money before they are willing to pay a decent purse to their current roster of fighters.

  • metalmulisha says:

    big_9_er says “Sounds like someone is very jealous of Dana’s success huh Djangoplata?”

    I’m not jealous of how successful Dana is I’m jealous he’s in Abu Dhabi for the ADCC tournament and I’m not.

  • swiftuc says:

    quote: They hauled in $87 million in pay per view money alone and paid the fighters a total of $2million for UFC 100.

    I’m pretty sure it’s common knowledge that fighters get percentages of PPV buys outside of the NSAC official purses. There were $100,000 bonuses also. I agree with you in principle, but I don’t think it’s as bad as you suggest. The UFC provides the most stable home for up and coming fighters, as well as the most exposure and the best competition.

  • metalmulisha says:

    I take that back apparently Dana Is in Abu Dhabi talking about bringing a future UFC event there. That never would’ve crossed my mind.
    The ADCC Championships are in Barcelona end of Sept.

  • mu_shin says:

    These actions make me think there is a subtext going on here that as fans and members of the paying public we are not party to.

    Fedor is a professional fighter. His career has a finite duration, and his earning potential, while it’s been substantial, has room to grow. He will obviously not profit from a relationship with Strikeforce to the extent that he would have from the UFC. It’s simply impossible: Coker and Strikeforce do not have the resources that the Fertitas and Zuffa have.

    What I’m hearing and reading makes me think that Emelianenko will use Strikeforce to meet his three fight commitment that he has spoken of as his current agreement with M-1/Global. Subsequent to meeting that commitment, he should be free to negotiate with Zuffa as a free agent, as an individual, without the odious co-promotion aspect that has obstructed all attempts to make a deal with the UFC. With no contractual obligation to seek co-promotion, Fedor should be free to negotiate on his own behalf, and make the match the vast majority of U.S. MMA fans want to see, against Brock Lesnar.

    Apparently Alistair Overeem is suffering from hand problems that are delaying his defending the Strikeforce Heavyweight title. While Overeem is a legitimate champion with lots of tough experience, his hand injury will be the least of his troubles if and when he gets in the ring with Fedor. Overeem’s record reveals a well rounded fighter who has won most often by submission, but is also capable of a strong standing knockout. Unfortunately for him, he has also been knocked out six times, a fate just waiting for him when he enters the cage with Emelianenko.

  • twyg says:

    We can all sit and hope that after his 3 fights he comes to the UFC, but this is a grown ass man we are talking about if he wanted to sign with the UFC he would have told his manager to go f*ck himself and signed the contract. Fedor just better hope that he is as good as we all think he is and not lose or all that money waiting for him after these 3 fights is gone.

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    I don’t think it’s as simple as telling your manager to go f*ck himself. If it was, Randy would have fought as soon as he got out of the UFC too. We all saw what happened there.

    I blame both the manager & Fedor, but still I would like to hear a ONE ON ONE interview to get his side. What if he really is in an Iron Clad Contract and can do nothing but wait?

    mu_shin says: “Coker and Strikeforce do not have the resources that the Fertitas and Zuffa have.”

    I’ve been thinking about this same thing. So why? Was co-promotion THAT BIG of a deal to them? Maybe they are worried about longevity of M-1, and saw it would be safe with Strikeforce and that was more important at the time? Who knows. But it’s already been said by mu_shin- There’s something going on behind the scenes that we are not privy too.

  • Sumoninja says:

    Not to get too conspiracy theory, but what I think the crux of the Fedor dilemma is that M-1 is dirty. Co-promoting with them would jeopardize the UFC’s Nevada license or otherwise open them up for litigation (a la the PRIDE acquisition). M-1 insists on co-promotion for obvious financial and exposure reasons, UFC refuses for legal ones, and that’s the impasse. I also don’t think Fedor has any say in it, and is likely beholden to M-1 in more complex wasy than just his contract. All the grown-ass-man comments are naive. Let’s remember that this is Russia, not the US, and the criminal/political/economic/social environment is very different.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    swiftuc thank you common knowledge.
    ????$85 mill in Danas and the Fertitta’pocket????
    Arena personal, athletic commission, licensing, commercials, cut men, producers, light men, the guys who put the cage together, the guys who transport everything to the arena, advertising group to promote the cards, Bruce Buffer, and thousands more expenses that I can keep going on about. Your right EDBUZZ that $85 million is going straight into the Dana’s and zuffa’s pocket. just sit down and think about it for a minute or two.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Dana will change his tune as soon as the three fight deal is done and once again he will go after Fedor and hopefully sign him. It is funny how antbody who turns down Dana is a pos, but if they follow him the are the best in the world.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    very true fanoftna33

  • edub says:

    Moose u forgot Goldy and Rogan.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    i can never forget them but i hope the forgive me for not dropping their names lol

  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Speaking of those two, it seems to me like Goldy might have got the message and hasn’t been leaning in so close to Rogan. I didn’t see it at 100 quite as bad.

    You guys remember that? Goldy would almost get in Rogan’s face when they would do their talking.

  • moosebaby02 says:

    yes i did

  • PlagueAngel says:

    M1 global will just hang around long enough to make money and then when Strikeforce fails, it will leave and let the company burn.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I dont think strikeforce will fail, they have a long history and smart guys up top. At least I really really hope they do not fail.

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