According to reports, Strikeforce and M-1 Global, the company that represents superstar heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko, are in the final stages of “tweaking” their original contract. Once the revisions are complete, the two sides will continue their relationship into 2010, however expect for the M-1 Global brand to be showcased much more aggressively.
“We were renegotiating. I think we’re pretty much at the end of that road,” Evgeni Kogan, M-1 Global’s Director of Operations told Sherdog.com. “After the CBS show, we thought that the terms needed a little bit tweaking — nothing major, just a little bit of tweaking. So, we had a round of negotiations with Strikeforce. Everything went positively. We’re pretty much at the end.”
As customary with everything that involves Emelianenko, the specifics as to what was discussed and agreed upon will remain private, however it is believed an increase in monetary compensation was at least brought to the table.
In addition, instead of a May 15th showdown with Fabricio Werdum as first reported, it appears the two will now collide later this summer instead.
“I think June, July is realistic (for Emelianenko’s return),” Kogan said of the revised agenda. “It’s not 100 percent. Don’t take this as a fight announcement, but I think during the summer.”
Following their successful CBS debut this past November, it is believed Team Fedor approached Strikeforce in hopes of renegotiating the three-event contract they inked less than a year ago.
Although over four million Americans tuned-in to see Emelianenko knockout then-undefeated Brett Rogers in the 2ndRound at “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Rogers,” with millions more watching worldwide, something was still not sitting right with Emelianenko and Co.
“Obviously, we are much more than the management company for Fedor,” said Kogan. “For us, it’s really important that the M-1 Global brand is acknowledged on these co-promotion events. As much as the partners made a lot of effort to acknowledge the co-branding, the media basically picked up on the fact that it was Strikeforce and kind of forgot about everything else, which wasn’t the most ideal for us.”
After it was confirmed Emelianenko would not appear on Strikeforce’s April 17th CBS broadcast, the rumor mill started grumbling with talks of a deteriorating relationship between M-1 and the San Jose, California-based show, blasting the doors wide open for the Russian’s potential Octagon debut.
Kogan quickly put that chatter to bed as he claims they have not been in touch with the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization for quite some time.
“There is no truth to that. No one met with the UFC,” said Kogan of jumping on-board the Octagon bandwagon. “We have been re-checking the contract with Strikeforce, but there has been no negotiations with anyone else.”