While his Strikeforce contract remains in limbo, Fedor Emelianenko spoke with reporters over the weekend to clear up the relationship he has with his primary boss, M-1 Global.
“I have no intentions on leaving M-1 Global,” Fedor said in Moscow over the weekend (translated by LowKick.com). “We have a very good partnership, so I don’t see any reasons why I should break-up my current deal with that organization.”
M-1 is the Russian-based company that has controversially managed the heavyweight for years. It’s run by Fedor’s longtime manager, Vadim Finkelchtein, and although not officially confirmed, it is strongly believed Emelianenko owns a share in the organization as well.
While Strikeforce and M-1 continue to try and “tweak” the original three-fight contract they had agreed upon less than a year ago, Emelianenko’s focus remains to get back inside a cage/ring while the higher-ups work out the details of his new deal.
“My next opponent will be Fabricio Werdum. We are currently negotiating with his team, but if something goes wrong we will try to reach an agreement with Antonio Silva,” Emalianenko stated at this weekend’s M-1 Selection Eastern Europe event.
After successfully making his Strikeforce debut last November against Brett Rogers, Fedor was expected to compete in this weekend’s “Strikeforce: Nashville” broadcast on CBS, however the two sides remain divided on a contract extension.
Both parties have expressed optimism they can bring the drama to an end, however it’s been almost two months since reports first surfaced regarding renegotiations and still nothing has come of it, despite the pressure UFC president Dana White has been applying.
Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker recently told 5thRound.com, although they have yet to come to terms, he was looking forward to having their meal ticket back during the summertime.
“I think things are going well. There’s good dialog. There’s light at the end of the tunnel,” Coker told us. “I think it was good to go through this exercise, to button-up a few things. [Fedor returning in] June would be great. July would be great, but we want to get him back in a cage as soon as possible.”
It’s interesting to note that Fedor said, “WE are currently negotiating with [Werdum’s] team.”
Conspiracy theorists would question why Strikeforce isn’t negotiating who Emelianenko’s next opponent should be. Could that mean his professional return could come against either Werdum or Silva in an event not hosted by Strikeforce?