Fedor and Couture Still Trying to Make Fight Happen

Written by Tom Ngo
August 13th, 2008

Reigning WAMMA heavyweight champion, Fedor Emelianenko, and former UFC heavyweight champion, Randy Couture, have been in talks about trying to make this much anticipated fight happen. As reported here on 5thRound.com, both fighters and their representatives met on Monday at Wasserman Media Group’s office in Los Angeles, California. The primary purpose of their meeting was not known, however, making the fight happen was definitely something that the fighters talked about.

 “We talked a little bit about everything,” Emelianenko said at Affliction Entertainment’s press luncheon yesterday. “Certainly, one of the main topics was the possibility of having a fight together and the realities that we both face — mainly that he (Couture) faces -– and whether the reality of having a fight can happen.”

Couture is currently in a legal battle with his former employer, the UFC, since his resignation from the company last October.

Couture states that he signed a four fight, 18-month contract with the UFC in 2006. He has already completed two of those fights, however once he found out that the UFC was not going to sign Emelianenko, he resigned.

From his understanding, his contract is set to expire after the initial 18 month period from when he first signed the agreement, which has since passed, even if there are two fights remaining on his deal.

The UFC claims that Couture still owes them the two remaining fights on his contract before he is allowed to fight for another promotion, regardless of time.

Representatives from both fighters’ have been trying to negotiate with the UFC to make this happen before it is too late for the 45-year old Couture. However, the only way that the UFC would allow such a mega fight is to have it under the UFC umbrella, where they will be able to control every aspect of the promotion, where M-1, who Emelianenko is primarily signed with insists on running a co-promotion, as they successfully did with the Afflcition:Banned event in July.

Vadim Finkelstein, Emelianenko’s manager and M-1 Owner, said he is not against negotiating with the world’s leading fight promotion, however they need to be accommodated as well.

“We, M-1, we’re not in any way against working with the UFC. We’ve spoken to them before about the possibility of working with them together. Anything’s possible,” said Finkelstein. “It’s similar to what we’re doing with Affliction. Our relationship we’re currently seeing with Affliction is a co-production and a co-promotion and a partnership. If things aren’t monopolized and we can work together, then it’s a possibility.”

Unfortunately, the UFC will always be negotiating from the highest position of power and knows that their organization will be just fine if this fight never takes place.

Couture has been complying with the UFC’s one year, non-compete clause in his contract since his resignation, however that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t been working diligently behind the scenes to make this fight happen.

“It was an honor to spend a little time with Fedor,” Couture told Sherdog.com on Tuesday. “We’re just trying to exhaust every option to make this fight a reality.”

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