“FEDOR SIGNS WITH STRIKEFORCE”, screamed the headlines all over the Internet yesterday afternoon. After close to two weeks of frantic behind the scenes negotiations with every single one of the major power players in mixed martial arts, Strikeforce ultimately won the bidding war for the hottest free agent in the sport.
Did Strikeforce win over the desperately sought after Russian with the amount of dollars they could offer up? Perhaps we’ll truly never know the definitive answer to that question, but Dana White sounded fairly certain during a press conference held this past Friday that the UFC had offered up Fedor Emelianenko a deal financially incomparable to any other he would receive within the industry, and he sure seemed like he meant it too.
At this point it’s a commonly known fact that the one sticking point that prevented Emelianenko from fighting for the UFC was co-promotion. Fedor and M-1 Global insisted on co -promotion. A complete non-sticking point for Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker as he recently explained to TapouT Radio.
“I think that was something that was really important to M-1,” said Coker. “They were looking for a partner, just like they had with Affliction. I think branding is important to them, and I think we’ve provided a good platform for them to do some good branding in America. We’ve done co-promotions before so it wasn’t really an issue to us. I think it just worked out. When two companies have common goals in mind, good things can happen.”
Although the deal with Strikeforce is an exclusive one, it’s far from a contract signed in blood as Fedor is currently contractually obligated to fight for Strikeforce for just one year.
“Basically it’s three fights over the next year, and we’ll start in the Fall some time,” confirmed Coker.
Another question on the minds of many fight fans all over the world is, ‘Where can I watch Fedor fight? Will he be on CBS, PPV?’. While the specifics have yet to be completely ironed out at this early point, Coker knows for certain where you can catch him in his first outing under the Strikeforce banner, “The very first fight that Fedor fights will be on Showtime, and then the roll-out of television from there forward hasn’t been determined 100%, but his first fight will be on Showtime.”
Contrary to what many may think, the possibility of Fedor walking into a title fight with Strikeforce is looking very unlikely at this time. Strikeforce would rather let this one properly marinate before throwing it on the grill.
“[Fedor] and Alistair Overeem should be an amazing fight, and people that haven’t seen Alistair, you know, he’s an amazing fighter,” explained Coker during the conversation with the guys (and gal) from TapouT Radio. “I think we should do a couple of fights and build that one up, and then let their champion fight our champion, and let’s see what happens.
“We’re hoping that Alistair will be ready to fight in the Fall, and we can put him on one of the cards with Fedor, and not fight against each other but fight against someone else, and let’s build that fight up”